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Leah Farrell
grafton street protest

Man accused of launching firework at gardaí during Covid protest charged with endangerment

Jake Merriman is now accused of possessing glass bottles capable of causing serious injury, violent disorder, and endangering life.

A PROTESTER HAS been further charged with endangerment of life by launching a firework at gardaí during an anti-lockdown demonstration in Dublin.

Hundreds gathered on Grafton Street on 27 February last to protest measures aimed at halting the spread of covid-19.

Gardaí prevented them from entering St Stephen’s Green park, which had been closed.

A firework was discharged at the top of Grafton Street, after which gardai baton-charged protesters. The riot led to three officers getting injured, 23 arrests and 13 people charged with public order offences.

Footage of the scenes went viral online.

Gardaí later charged Jake Merriman, 30, from Meadowlands Avenue, Monkstown, Dublin, with five offences, and he was granted bail at Dublin District Court in March.

Detective Sergeant Patrick Traynor sought directions from the Director of Public Prosecution for additional charges brought in September.

He is now accused of possessing glass bottles capable of causing serious injury, violent disorder, and endangering life by propelling a lighted firework causing a substantial risk of death or serious harm.

He was also further charged with assault causing harm to a garda and minor assaults on two other gardaí.

The case was back before Judge Michael Walsh at Dublin District Court today for the State to serve a book of evidence.

He did not have to attend because it was not ready, and Judge Walsh granted prosecutors another four weeks.

The defendant was remanded on continuing bail in his absence.

Earlier, Detective Sergeant Traynor alleged an eight-shot firework was discharged, and glass bottles were thrown during the incident.

Merriman, a self-employed power-washer who cleans stone walls, granite and garden patios, has not yet indicated how he will plead.

The book of evidence needs to be served on him before he is sent forward for trial to the Circuit Court.