Man charged with firework attack during anti-lockdown protest
A man has appeared in court suspected of launching fireworks at Gardai during an anti-lockdown protest.© Niall Carson Merriman is accused of launching fireworks at Gardai (Niall Carson/PA)
Jake Merriman, 30, of Meadowlands Avenue, Monkstown, South Dublin was charged with five offences related to his attendance at the protest demonstration which spilled into violence at the weekend.
He was charged with three Section 11 offences, one of discharging an “eight-shot Cannon firework” at Gardai and two incidents of throwing glass bottles at officers.
Two Section 9(5) offences related to possession of glass bottles with intent to throw them at Gardai.
Judge Brian O’Shea said there were “no circumstances in which this could be viewed as a minor offence”.
Dublin District Court at the Criminal Courts of Justice heard there was significant evidence in the case, including CCTV footage and witness statements in relation to identification.
Merriman, who was granted bail, was seen visibly shaking in court as the case was heard.
Arresting officer Detective Sgt Patrick Traynor opposed bail based on the seriousness of the charges before the court and the sentences they carry.
He said the accused “made no attempt to conceal his identity” during the incidents and added that investigations are ongoing.
The judge said that while he appreciated concerns over the seriousness of the charges he did not want to incarcerate the accused for up to a year before trial.
Judge O’Shea remanded him on a 200 euro bail bond for six weeks. Merriman is scheduled to appear again on April 14 2021 for trial and indictment.
Merriman was ordered to sign on twice a week at Shankhill Garda Station, stay away from the Dublin 2 area including Grafton St and to keep the peace.
The accused’s solicitor Niall O’Connor made an application for legal aid.
The court heard Merriman had “a business in relation to power washing” but was now unemployed and receiving the pandemic unemployment payment (PUP).
The incidents took place during an anti-lockdown protest near Grafton St in Dublin City Centre on Saturday.
Frustrated Fred feeling so lacking in tolerance to all my canine friends and people in general; There is a haven locally where people can gather and have a coffee; social distancing rules apply; it is an open space, a garden in fact, and locals interested in keeping their community in existence support this gallant effort by a person who saw an opportunity at the beginning of the lockdowns and decided to run with it. He has a bowl of water always for our canine friends who are the welcome guests too.
Lulling about and feeling sorry for myself I was talking to a retired gentleman when all of a sudden this man joined our company. It resulted in a little bit of fracas because the retired gentleman considered that he was intruding and taking over the conversation. With the benefit of hindsight now I understand what was happening; he, the man from Down, had an ulterior motive. He was recruiting possible protesters for the march to be held in St Stephen’s Green, the following day at 2 pm. He was anti the reality of COVID-19 and produced a book by a Mr O’Hanlon which documented the conspiracy theories that the majority of enlightened people avoid. He told me that there was an alternative site to youtube and gave me the details and then explained that the Powerful Elites had a plan and that COVID-19 was scare tactics and that the true aim was to depopulate the world. He then explained to me (which I have Googled and can find no connection) that Bill Gates was the grandson of Rockefeller. He told me that he had hand delivered a copy of Mr O’Hanlon’s book to Christy Moore in Monkstown and he hoped to deliver a copy to Mary Black. My friend became offended about how he had imposed on our company and basically told him to leave us alone which to be fair, he did.
Jake Merriman: I wonder did you become exposed to a person similar to this man from Down but unlike me and my friend, who decided that he was a conspiracy theorist (we with the knowledge life has given us identified him as a follower of a cult and just excluded him from our company) while you and other people, especially young people decided that you wanted to exercise your right to protest.
People are so vulnerable now. Age gives you wisdom and thankfully my friend and I have that as we approach our 70’s and are anxiously waiting for our BioNTech Pfizer vaccine! And we are willing to take AstraZeneca/Oxford; Moderna; or for that matter any contributions from China or even Russia. We just want to be vaccinated as soon as possible so that gradually while sticking to the protocols the vaccinations will result in less people getting severe COVID-19 and ending up in hospitals. Israel has paved the way forward and we need to follow urgently. We want vaccines. We don’t want Vaccine Hesitancy; We realise Israel exchanged additional data for the provision of Pfizer BioNTech so that they could get out of crisis Lockdowns and get their economy up and running as soon as possible. We understand too that elections were looming … Netanyahu saw this opportunity also. Ireland wants the vaccines as soon as possible. This is what marches should be about.
We rely on the Judiciary now to exercise their sense of justice when reviewing young people and what sentence should be imposed. One would hate for a person in university to be expelled and lose their potential to have a good life, their right to travel to the US and the other benefits that go with a third level education.
Fred is glad to be wise. He would have hated to arrive at St. Stephen’s Green with good intent, only to discover the Garda Commissioner at the last moment decided to lock off the park and push the revellers down into Grafton Street … what comes to mind is the Judas Goat. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Judas_goat