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Fourth teenager charged over ramming of garda car in Dublin

Gardaí have made five arrests in this investigation.

Image: Shutterstock

Updated Oct 5th 2022, 2:10 PM

A FOURTH TEENAGER has been charged over the ramming of a garda car in Ballyfermot in Dublin and was released on bail with conditions today. 

Videos of the incident at around 7.30 pm on 19 September went viral on social media. The footage showed a collision between the patrol vehicle and another car as on-lookers cheered.

Gardaí commenced an investigation and have made five arrests.

Yesterday three boys charged with related offences were granted bail with strict terms by the Dublin Children’s Court.

Gardaí arrested another schoolboy, aged 15, yesterday and brought him to Clondalkin station.

They charged him with unlawful use of a stolen car at Cedarbrook Avenue, dangerous driving, in a manner including speed, at Cherry Orchard Avenue, and criminal damage to a garda car at the same location.

The teen, who cannot be named because he is a minor, was held at the station overnight and brought before the Children’s Court today.

Detective Garda Ronan Coffey told district court president Judge Paul Kelly that the boy was charged in the presence of his mother. She also came to the hearing along with another family member.

There was no objection to bail, but the detective asked the court to impose conditions, including a curfew and to engage in a bail supervision scheme.

The detective explained that twice he had gone to the youth’s home at 7 am, but the boy was not there each time.

However, the boy’s solicitor Lorraine Stephens objected to those terms. She submitted that the teenager went to a garda station a day later.

She argued that including the boy in bail supervision was unnecessary as it was only appropriate for young people who struggle to obey conditions.

Ms Stephens pointed out that he had no prior criminal convictions and never had bail terms.

The solicitor added that his family felt “overwhelmed” with the intervention of services which were “not necessary at this stage”. However, she said the boy was interested in sports and planned to get involved in a club.

Judge Kelly held that it was premature to include those terms, but added others with consent from the defence. The south Dublin teenager was granted legal aid and ordered to have no contact with the co-defendants, attend school and stay out of the Ballyfermot area.

His mother raised concerns that her son could bump into one of the co-defendants on his way to school, but the judge stressed in that case, he must “cross the road”.

Judge Kelly warned him directly that if he broke the order, “bail could be revoked, and you would be detained until your trial”.

The boy, like his co-defendants, has not yet indicated a plea and spoke only once to confirm he understood.

He will appear again on 15 November with the other boys, aged 14 and 15. The case will be listed for directions from the Director of Public Prosecutions.

The second 15-year-old boy is accused of unlawful use of a stolen car at Cedarbrook Avenue and using or being a passenger in another stolen car on the same date. He is also charged with dangerous driving at Cherry Orchard Avenue and criminal damage to the garda car.

One 14-year-old is accused of being a passenger in the two alleged stolen vehicles at Cedarbrook Avenue. At the same time, the other boy is charged with unlawfully travelling as a passenger in one of the two cars.

Yesterday, their parents were present for the proceedings, and the court granted them legal aid. The judge noted there was no garda objection to bail with conditions, but held that only one of them must obey a curfew.

They must attend school or bail supervision programmes and remain contactable by mobile phone, and two must stay out of the Ballyfermot area. The judge noted they had “no business” to be in the area.

Judge Kelly also warned them they must be of good behaviour and not be in control of any motor vehicles, and breaking bail terms risked being held in custody.

The two officers in the rammed garda car have since signed off work and are receiving support.

Until age 18, the law classes the defendants as children with a right to anonymity.

Section 93 of the Children Act states no report shall be published or broadcast which reveals the name, address or school of any child concerned in the proceedings or include any details likely to lead to the identification of any child involved in the proceedings.

A fifth boy has been referred to the juvenile youth diversion programme.

That will decide if he will be suitable for their youth crime diversion scheme as an alternative to a court prosecution with the risk of a criminal record and a custodial sentence.

About the author:

Tom Tuite

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