Protester allegedly injured a garda with a paintbrush

Stephen Bennett

By Andrew Phelan

A POLITICAL activist who was among five people charged with causing damage with paint at the Department of Justice has now been accused of assaulting a garda during the protest.

Stephen Bennett (42) allegedly caused an eye injury to the officer by hitting him with a paintbrush.

The case against him was adjourned for the production of a medical report on the garda allegedly injured.

Mr Bennett of Pearse Green, Sallynoggin, is charged with criminal damage, obstruction and assault at the Department's St Stephen's Green offices on March 31.

His daughter Saoirse Bennett (20) and Francis McDonagh (27) of Nutgrove Crescent, Rathfarnham are charged with public order offences.


Two other co-accused Terence Barry (42) of Kennedy Park, Thurles and John Rooney (22) Nephin Road Cabra are charged with criminal damage.

On Mr Bennett's criminal damage charge, it is alleged that paint was poured over a garda's uniform, causing €380 worth of damage.

On the assault, it is alleged that the garda was hit in the face by a paintbrush, suffering scratches to the cornea of his left eye.

Judge Walsh accepted jurisdiction to deal with all criminal damage charges but said he would need to see a medical report on the garda's alleged injuries before deciding on whether to hear that case in the District Court.

The defendants were remanded on continuing bail.