Man charged with intimidation of Michael Healy-Rae outside Government Buildings

Man Charged With Intimidation Of Michael Healy-Rae Outside Government Buildings
About 200 protesters held a rally outside Leinster House on September 20th as the Dáil resumed following the summer recess. Photo: Collins
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Tom Tuite

A young man has appeared in court charged with intimidating independent TD Michael Healy-Rae and trying to impede the politician from entering Government Buildings during an "aggressive" protest.

About 200 protesters held a rally outside Leinster House on September 20th last year as the Dáil resumed following the summer recess, leading to several arrests.


Afterwards, the Kerry TD condemned the conduct of some demonstrators as he and an intern from his office attempted to leave the area.

Following a Garda investigation, Dean Hickson (21) appeared at Dublin District Court on Tuesday.

Garda Chloe Rochfort, from Pearse Street Garda station, obtained directions from the Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP) to charge him under section nine of the Non-Fatal Offences Against the Person Act.

Mr Hickson, of Griffith Parade, Finglas East, Dublin, is accused of intimidating Mr Healy-Rae at Kildare Street, Dublin 2, on September 20th.


The DPP directed summary disposal in the District Court, which can impose a 12-month sentence and a fine, rather than a trial at the Circuit Court level, which can impose a sentence of up to five years.

'Aggressive protesters'

Judge Paula Murphy accepted jurisdiction after hearing a summary of the prosecution evidence.

Court Garda Sergeant James Ward said it was alleged: "The accused was among a number of aggressive protesters outside Leinster House during an anti-government, anti-immigration protest."

At one point, the CCTV footage captured someone "throwing a plastic bottle in the direction of Michael Healy Rae, narrowly missing his head".


During the investigation, the accused was identified from the video footage "as the person who deliberately impeded the injured party from entering Government Buildings, a place of work".

Judge Murphy ordered him to appear again on April 16th to enter a plea. Mr Hickson, who is unemployed, was granted legal aid but did not address the court.

His solicitor, Donal Quigley, said he was instructed to tell the judge that his client "did not block anyone going in or out".

The defence was also granted an order for disclosure of prosecution evidence, including video footage.

Mr Healy-Rae was not required to attend the proceedings on Tuesday but could be called as a witness to testify if the case proceeds to a contested hearing.

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