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Sword-wielding teen who staged "one man rebellion" gets community service

19-year-old Jordan Buckley was wrestled to the ground by three gardaí after rushing the front door of Leinster House with a sword.

Image: Sam Boal

Updated at 1.47pm

ATEENAGER WHO admits attempting to stage a “one man rebellion” at Leinster House in April has been handed 200 hours of community service.

19-year-old Jordan Buckley, from Kells Road, Crumlin was arrested after jumping over the main barrier at Leinster House with a sword on 29 April. He was handed the sentence in lieu of a ten month prison sentence at the Dublin Circuit Court yesterday.

The Dubliner had been charged with trespassing, possession of a weapon and resisting arrest.

Arresting officer Garda Dwayne Conlon told the Court 3 of the Criminal Courts of Justice that he had stopped the teenager at the main door of the Oireachtas complex, and managed to restrain him with the help of two other gardaí.

Conlon had been forced to draw his official baton in the course of the incident, he said. One of his colleagues had had to strike the teenager in order to stop his advance.

After detaining him, Conlon found three knives in the teenager’s possession. Another knife was also found in the car park area, the garda said.

The sword was a family heirloom — an Irish army cavalry officer’s sword from the Civil War era that had belonged to his grandfather, the court heard.

‘Devil makes work’

Buckley’s solicitor Paul Hannon said that the teenager had left school early, and hadn’t completed his Leaving Cert.

There were difficulties in the family home at the time the incident took place — which had now been resolved. 

The 19-year-old was feeling generally unhappy about being out of work, Hannon said, observing that it was a case of the “Devil finds work for idle hands to do”.

It was an “entirely misguided and ill-conceived stunt” carried out by a “disaffected youth” Hannon said.

He had decided to stage his own “one man rebellion” his solicitor said. But the teenager had made it very clear afterwards that he had no intention of engaging in violent acts himself. Hannon said the knives found in his possession were for self-defence.

He added that the teen had had some general issues in relation to the Government’s austerity measures, but that he had no interest in politics, and would find it difficult to name any high-profile politician. 

Hannon told the court that Buckley had no prior offences, and Garda Conlon agreed that he had fully co-operated with officers in the wake of his arrest.

The solicitor also said that the Garda deserved credit for his bravery in the line of duty.

Education

Judge Michael Walsh was told that the teenager was now prioritising his education, and had had an interview to start a course last week. 

He was also going the gym every day, Hannon said, and engaging in counselling.

The judge directed that Buckley be assessed for community service, and said he should be given 200 hours in lieu of a ten month prison sentence. 

The sentence was confirmed shortly before the court broke for lunch.

First posted at 1pm, 22 October 

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