Embassy Gates Crasher Opts For...


Embassy Gates Crasher Opts For Circuit Court Jury Trial

Laura Donnelly
Laura Donnelly

03:52 21 Jun 2022

Share this article

A church supplier charged with ramming the Russian embassy gates in Dublin intends to plead not guilty and opt for a trial before a Circuit Court judge and jury.

Desmond Wisley, 49, was arrested after his firm's lorry reversed and crashed through the gates of the building at Orwell Road, Rathgar, on the city's south side at around 1.30 pm on March 7.

Afterwards, he told protesters he saw pictures of a family killed in Irpin, Ukraine, following the Russian invasion.

Clips of the incident went viral online and in the media.

The accused of Tully, Ballinamore, Co. Leitrim, sells religious products, including wine, bread, altar cloths, banners, candles and vestments.

Gardai charged the businessman with dangerous driving at the embassy and criminal damage to the gates.

The following day, he was granted €300 bail after agreeing to obey a list of strict conditions sought by Garda Aishling Conroy.

The case was back before Judge Patricia McNamara at Tallaght District Court today.

It was listed for directions from the Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP) to be given. In April, the court heard: "There has been a bit of a difficulty with regards to valuing the damage."

Mr Wisley did not have to appear but was represented today by his solicitor Gerry Kilraine.

Mr Kilraine told the court the DPP had indicated that the matter could be disposed of the district court, but only if his client pleaded guilty.

Otherwise, it would for forward on indictment which has broader sentencing powers.

Mr Kilraine added, "the plea is not guilty, so it will be in the Circuit Court".

He asked Judge McNamara to adjourn the matter until September for the State to complete the book of evidence for the trial.

Judge McNamara said she had not yet received the DPP’s direction. However, the defence solicitor said it had been communicated to his office.

Judge McNamara noted that but told Mr Kilraine the directions needed to be formally given to the court, and unfortunately, there was no one acting on behalf of the State.

She adjourned the case for mention until July 1.

Judge McNamara remanded Mr Wisley on continuing bail in his absence.

His bail terms state he must stay away from Orwell Road, Dublin 14, and Ailesbury Road, in Dublin 4; refrain from posting on social media about his court case, and not contact any of the embassy's staff. At his first hearing on March 8, Garda Conroy told the court that he "made no reply to either charge".

After that court appearance, the businessman gave a statement to reporters in which he thanked gardai for their professionalism before condemning the Russian government and its president Vladimir Putin.

Protective barriers were later placed outside the embassy.

Reporting by Tom Tuite

Follow @98FM online for all the latest news

Share this article

You might like