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Dublin: 12 °C Wednesday 22 October, 2014

Direct Democracy’s Ben Gilroy appears in court over alleged trespassing

A court adjourned the case for three weeks earlier today.

Ben Gilroy was a surprise fourth-place finisher in the Meath East by-election last March.
Ben Gilroy was a surprise fourth-place finisher in the Meath East by-election last March.
Image: Laura Hutton/Photocall Ireland

Updated 6pm

ONE OF THE founders of the political movement Direct Democracy Ireland, Ben Gilroy, appeared in court this morning after he was arrested at his home in Meath earlier.

Gilroy was arrested at his home in Navan at around 8.45am this morning and appeared before Justice Ryan at the High Court in Dublin today.

The case concerned the breach of a court order not to trespass on land at a Kildare stud farm owned by farmer Eugene McDermott earlier this year.

Joint receivers to the land at Brannockstown in Naas allege that Gilroy was part of a group that forced agents of the receivers off the land last August.

The judge adjourned the case until 22 November to give Gilroy two weeks to file an affidavit and for the plaintiff – the receivers – to respond to this.

A number of Gilroy’s supporters joined him in court this morning.

Speaking to TheJournal.ie this evening, Gilroy joked that he had been taken to Dublin “in a special taxi” and said the gardaí “were nice lads in fairness to them”.

He acknowledged he could face going to jail for contempt of court, but said: “I believe I am innocent”.

Gilroy, who has denied being a member of the Freeman movement, added: “Just as we were leaving the judge said I was free to leave of my own volition. I had a couple of people coming up to me saying: ‘Ben Gilroy is a free man.’”

Gilroy was a candidate in last March’s Meath East by-election where he finished a surprise fourth, ahead of Labour’s Eoin Holmes.

First published 11.30am

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