Three men have been charged with violent disorder after gardai responded to reports of a group with knives, pitchforks and a firearm at a junction in Finglas in north Dublin on Tuesday.
Glen Ward, 29, from Deanstown Way, Ratoath Road, his brother Eric O'Driscoll, 20, of Deanstown Green, and Darragh Callopy, 18, of Cardiffsbridge Avenue, Finglas, were detained overnight at Blanchardstown Garda station.
They appeared at Dublin District Court today.
They were charged with violent disorder by using or threatening to use violence at the Cardiffsbridge Road-Deanstown Green junction. The offence, on conviction, can carry a 10-year sentence.
All three were granted €200 bail over gardai objections after Judge Conal Gibbons held there were not sufficient grounds to remand them in custody.
However, they were ordered to obey bail conditions.
Judge Gibbons ordered them to appear at Blanchardstown District Court on October 28. Gardai are to obtain directions from the Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP).
He deferred granting free legal aid to Mr Ward after a garda detective objected, telling the court the accused had "wealth" and could afford to pay.
The court heard Glen Ward was arrested on Tuesday night and later charged, after which "he made no reply". Detective Garda Sean Kelly opposed bail due to the seriousness of the offence.
He added, "there are multiple other persons to be arrested in this matter and witnesses."
"I'm seriously concerned there could be interference in relation to that," he said.
However, Judge Gibbons said the State had to prove witness interference, which was not an easy task, in order to rebut the defendant’s right to bail.
He released Mr Ward and ordered him to obey several conditions not read out. Furthermore, he warned him not to associate with Mr Callopy.
Defence counsel Garrett Casey told the court that his client agreed to reside at a specific address not stated aloud during the proceedings but furnished to the judge on a typed page.
Mr Ward applied for legal aid to pay for a lawyer to represent him in the proceedings. However, Detective Garda Kelly objected, telling the court, "I believe this man has wealth and is able to afford it".
Judge Gibbons deferred ruling on the request telling Mr Ward to provide a statement with vouching documents, including bank or credit union statements.
Garda Dwayne O'Brien told the court that co-defendant Eric O'Driscoll had no reply to the charge.
The officer told the contested bail hearing that "a comprehensive file will be prepared for the DPP", adding that gardai will be seeking "trial on indictment in the matter" in a higher court.
He alleged that Mr O’Driscoll was “in possession of a weapon at the time of this incident”. However, he agreed with Mr Casey that the accused made no admissions.
Pleading for bail, counsel submitted that his client would spend a lengthy period in custody pending trial. In response, Garda O'Brien said an incident room had been set up, and they would prepare the case file quickly.
He also feared violence in the community.
However, Judge Gibbons granted bail with the same terms as Mr Ward. He also adjourned ruling on Mr O’Driscoll’s legal aid application for a statement of means to be prepared.
Garda Ciaran Maloney told Judge Gibbons that he arrested Mr Callopy at 12.25 am on Thursday.
The court heard the 18-year-old "made no reply" to the charge. But, objecting to bail, Garda Maloney said at 4.55 pm on Tuesday, "reports had come in to gardai that a number of males were standing at the junction of Cardiffsbridge Road and Deanstown Green".
He added that gardai were informed they had "knives pitchforks, and there was mention of a firearm".
The court heard they dispersed when gardai arrived. However, Garda Maloney said he had viewed the incident captured on CCTV.
Defence solicitor Katie Dowling told Judge Gibbons that Mr Callopy was willing to abide by conditions.
He was granted legal aid after the judge noted he was on a pre-apprenticeship course.
Imposing his bail terms, Judge Gibbons warned him to have no interaction with the two co-accused, not to "loiter" at the alleged crime scene, provide gardai with a phone number, and be available for contact at all times.
They have not yet indicated how they will plead and did not address the court.
Reporting by Tom Tuite
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