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Dublin: 12 °C Friday 10 July, 2020
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Man (23) who allegedly wrote 'rat' in book of condolence for Garda Colm Horkan remanded in custody

The book had been left out at the counter in Blanchardstown garda station for the public to sign.

Image: Sasko Lazarov/Photocall Ireland

A 23-YEAR-OLD man accused of writing “rat” on a book of condolence for Detective Garda Colm Horkan has been remanded in continuing custody pending directions from the Director of Public Prosecutions.

The book had been left out at the counter in Blanchardstown garda station for the public to sign following the death of Detective Garda Horkan in a shooting in Castlerea, Co Roscommon last week.

Jason Hennessy from Sheephill Avenue in Blanchardstown was refused bail on Monday and appeared at Cloverhill District Court via video-link today.

He is charged with criminal damage to the book of condolence which was allegedly defaced on Friday afternoon, and violent behaviour at the station following his arrest.

Judge Victor Blake noted from defence solicitor Amanda Connolly and the court sergeant that directions from the Director of Public Prosecutions were not yet available.

A decision has to be made as to whether the case will be dealt with at district court level or instead go forward to the circuit court, which has tougher sentencing powers.

Judge Blake remanded him in continuing custody to appear again on 7 July next.

Hennessy, dressed in a grey tracksuit and wearing gloves and a face mask, spoke briefly at the end of the hearing saying, “No problem at all, perfect, thanks”.

He had been refused bail on Monday after he was brought before Blanchardstown District Court.

Garda Sergeant Alan Lynch had told Judge Gerard Jones the book had been left out on Friday morning for members of the public to pay tribute to the murdered detective. It was supposed to be given later to the Horkan family.

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He was made aware that two men were at the book and it had been tampered with, he told a bail hearing.

The book was examined and it was alleged the word ‘rat’ had been written under Detective Garda Horkan’s name and the station stamp had been used on the front of the book.

It was alleged the accused took a picture of the book with his mobile phone.

He made no reply to the charge and has not yet formally indicated how he intends to plead. As a result of being refused bail in the district court he must bring an application to the High Court to get released pending his trial.

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Tom Tuite

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