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Extinction Rebellion protester held in prison after refusing to stay out of Trinity College Dublin

The man has accused Trinity College of not tackling climate change.

Extinction Rebellion is an environmental movement. File photo.
Extinction Rebellion is an environmental movement. File photo.
Image: Shutterstock/Ink Drop

AN EXTINCTION REBELLION activist accused of trespassing and graffiti at Trinity College Dublin (TCD) is to spend Christmas in prison after refusing to stay away from the university.

Ronan Browne, 30, co-founder of activism groups Systems Change and Economists Rebellion, was before Dublin District Court today.

He has accused TCD of not tackling climate change. Browne, with addresses at Main Street, Headford, Co. Galway and at Tyrconnell Road in Inchicore in Dublin, had been charged earlier with three counts of trespassing with intent to commit an offence and one charge of criminal damage by graffiti, which he denies.

The offences allegedly happened on Friday and also on 2 December and 14 August last.

He had taken up bail with conditions granted by a late court sitting on Friday after he was charged with the most recent alleged offence. He appeared again today before Judge Deirdre Gearty who accepted jurisdiction for the case to be dealt with at district court level.

The court heard the value of the graffiti clean up was less than €200. Defence solicitor Rory Staines told the judge the graffiti was washable and his client was pleading not guilty to the charges.

There was CCTV evidence of one of the incidents, the court was told. Staines said there was a slight issue in the case. When bail was granted on Friday, a condition was imposed barring Browne from entering the grounds of TCD without prior authority of staff.

“My client is no longer willing to abide by that condition,” the solicitor said, and he added that he had explained to him this could result in custody.

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Staines said the offences allegedly committed were “in an effort by Mr Browne to highlight what he says is TCD’s failure to engage with the climate crisis”.

Judge Gearty said she had no option but to revoke bail. She remanded Browne, who did not address the court, in custody to appear via video-link tomorrow at Cloverhill District Court.

A date for the full hearing of the case has yet to be fixed. Legal aid was granted after the judge noted Browne was not currently working.

Comments are closed due to ongoing legal proceedings.

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Tom Tuite

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