Man accused of vandalising The George gay bar given deadline to decide plea

Man accused of vandalising The George gay bar given deadline to decide plea
Eoin Berkeley.

A man accused of vandalising one of Dublin’s best known gay bars with homophobic graffiti has been given four weeks to decide how he will plead.

Eoin Berkeley, 24, from Hamptonwood Way, Finglas, Dublin 11, is accused of criminal damage to the facade and panels at the George Bar in the city centre in the early hours of May 20 last.

He appeared in court again today when he was further remanded in custody.

Derogatory language and a swastika daubed in chalk had to be removed from the pub’s facade during the alleged incident.

Judge Victor Blake heard at Cloverhill District Court that the Director of Public Prosecutions has directed summary disposal of the case.

This means it should stay in the district court and not go forward to the circuit court, which has tougher sentencing powers.

Judge Blake accepted jurisdiction for it to remain in the district court but remarked it was a “borderline case”.

He adjourned the case until November 15 next when Mr Berkeley, who was accompanied by his solicitor, will be expected to formally tell the court how he is going to plead.

Free legal aid was also granted earlier after the defence explained to the court that Mr Berkeley's access to funds was limited and he had been on a disability benefit.

The offence at district court level can carry a sentence of up to one year.

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