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Third man in court over Ballyfermot garda attacks

Gardai arrested three men and one woman during the investigation.

A THIRD MAN charged with violent disorder and “viciously” assaulting two gardai in Ballyfermot in Dublin has been refused bail.

A male and female officer were hospitalised after responding to a public order incident outside a pub on Ballyfermot Road in the early hours of Monday. Video footage of the incident was widely shared on social media.

Gardai arrested three men and one woman during the investigation.

Jonathan Dolan, 46, formerly of Colepark Green, Ballyfermot, and lately residing in a hostel at Manor Street, Dublin 7, faced objections to bail due to the seriousness of the case and fears he would not turn up for his trial.

He appeared before Judge Paula Murphy at Dublin District Court today.

The unemployed father of one is accused of assaulting the two officers and engaging in violent disorder during the incident.

Garda Grace Lumsden said Mr Dolan “made no reply” to the charges. She told the court the incident was life-altering for the two officers who had been dealing with a public order incident when they were “repeatedly assaulted by a group of four people”.

She said the incident was captured on CCTV, alleging the accused was caught red-handed.

In her cross-examination by defence solicitor Tony Collier, it emerged that Mr Dolan was arrested at his previous address. He used to live there with his partner until they broke up during the Covid pandemic, and he moved into homeless hostel accommodation.

Garda Lumsden agreed with Mr Collier that following his arrest, Mr Dolan had to be taken from Clondalkin garda station to hospital because he had a broken knuckle.

The defendant’s left hand was placed in a cast, and he was then brought back to the station, where he was charged just after 6pm on Tuesday.

Questioned about the description of the incident as life-altering, Garda Lumsden said both officers were “viciously assaulted”. They were released from hospital on Tuesday, but it was unknown when they would return to work. “In that sense, it was life-altering,” Garda Lumsden said.

She said a file is being prepared for the Director of Public Prosecutions with a recommendation for trial on indictment.

Mr Collier submitted that his client would abide by bail conditions like those imposed in the cases of two co-defendants on Tuesday.

He argued that his client, on social welfare, did not have the means to live outside the jurisdiction.

He also submitted that refusing bail could result in being held in custody for two years pending trial.

Judge Murphy noted that the garda’s evidence that the accused did not remain at the scene was disputed by the defence.

However, she refused bail and remanded him in custody to appear at Cloverhill District Court on Friday.

On Tuesday co-defendants Anthony Grogan, 54, Cherry Orchard Park and Steven Byrne, 35, Ballyfermot Avenue, Ballyfermot, Dublin, were brought before the court on the same charges.

The offences can, on conviction, result in maximum sentences of seven and 10 years.

Garda Philip Nash and Conor Dooley told the court each man had no reply to the charges. Gardai objected to bail, citing the seriousness of the charges and fears they would abscond.

A contested bail hearing was told the “life-altering incident” was captured on CCTV and gardai feared both men would abscond.

However, Judge Murphy noted the seriousness of the charges as well as their presumption of innocence and ties to the community.

She granted them bail subject to a range of conditions. Mr Grogan, an unemployed grandfather and father of four, had his bond set at €10,000, of which half must be lodged, and he needed a €5,000 independent surety to be approved.

On taking up bail, he must sign on daily at a Garda station, obey an 11 pm – 6 am curfew, remain contactable by mobile phone, surrender his passport and not apply for new travel documents, and not leave the jurisdiction.

Pest control worker and father of three, Mr Byrne, had set his bail at €6,000, of which he must lodge €3,000. He needed an independent surety of €10,000 with half to be paid.

He must abide by the same terms as Mr Grogan and have no contact with him.

A woman in her 50s was released from garda custody on Monday and is scheduled to face court later.