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Thursday 21 September 2023 Dublin: 12°C
Google Maps The family law courts in Smithfield where the incident occurred
# Charged
Man charged with possessing imitation firearm at family law court in December
The man, who is in his mid-forties, was arrested and taken to the Bridewell Garda station following the incident.

A MAN HAS been charged with possessing an imitation firearm at a family law court in Dublin.

The Phoenix House courts building at Smithfield in Dublin, where Judge Susan Ryan of the Circuit Court was presiding, was evacuated and a major security operation took place at around 11.30am on 20 December last.

Armed gardaí and a bomb disposal team were called in to deal with an incident which was resolved peacefully.

A man in his mid-forties was arrested and taken to the Bridewell Garda station.

He appeared at Dublin District Court two days later charged with the false imprisonment of two women and one count of threatening to kill and cause serious harm.

He was refused bail and cannot be named for legal reasons.

The defendant made his third court appearance when he appeared at Cloverhill District Court today.

Judge Victor Blake heard that an additional charge has been brought.

The man, dressed in a grey tracksuit, stood silently throughout the hearing and has not indicated how he will plead.

Detective Garda Shane Connolly told Blake the defendant “made no reply” when he was charged at the court today. 

The additional charge is under the Firearms Act for unlawful possession of an imitation gun in connection with the incident.

The Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP) has directed that he is to face trial on indictment on all the charges, Garda Connolly said.

This means his case is to be sent forward for trial before a judge and jury at the Dublin Circuit Criminal Court.

Defence counsel Sharon Rossiter (instructed by solicitor Brian Keenan) told Blake that her client was not making a bail application.

Blake acceded to her request to grant legal aid to her client after noting there was no Garda objection and no change in the defendant’s circumstances.

Blake noted the man consented to appearing via video-link at his next hearing at the same court on 1 February when the case will be listed for mention.

A book of evidence has to be completed by the DPP before he can be returned for trial.

Airport-style scanning equipment has since been installed and security guards are now stationed at the Phoenix House courts.

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