Two Dublin men who were part of a riot during Queen Elizabeth’s visit to Ireland in 2011 will be sentenced in March.
Michael Tyrell (23) of Dorset Street Lower, and Mark Griffin (26) of North Strand Road, were part of a group of a protestors that turned violent towards public order gardaí while Queen Elizabeth and Prince Philip were visiting the Garden of Remembrance in Parnell Square.
The court heard that missiles, including fireworks, general debris and bottles were thrown at gardaí and at one stage Griffin helped push a bin that had been set alight up against the line of shielded riot officers.
Both men pleaded guilty at Dublin Circuit Criminal Court to violent disorder on Dorset Street Upper on May 17, 2011.
Griffin also pleaded guilty to three charges of possession of drugs for sale or supply at his home on October 18, 2011 and conveying heroin into Wheatfield Prison on February 17, 2011.
Judge Mary Ellen Ring remanded both men on continuing bail until next March when she will finalise sentence. She ordered a report from the Probation and Welfare Service for Tyrell and urine analysis for Griffin to confirm his claim that he is now drug free.
Griffin has 71 previous convictions for offences including drugs, road traffic, theft and public order; while Tyrell has 34 for public order theft, criminal damage, road traffic and possession of a knife.
Garda Tara Dolan told Grainne O’Neill BL, prosecuting that on the day of the visit a group of about 100 to 150 people had gathered initially at The Spire on O’Connell Street. Some of the crowd became disorderly and they moved onto Moore Street in the direction of Parnell Square.
About 90 minutes later three riot vans were called in to move a group that had gathered at the junction of Dorset Street, Blessington Street and North Frederick Street after people had started to throw missiles at the gardaí.
Gardaí warned people over the public address system on the vans that they were committing an offence and if they didn’t move they would be arrested.
Gda Dolan confirmed that the people remained where they were and continued to throw missiles at gardaí and punch and kick at the riot officers’ shields.
A number of local gardaí were called in to assist in the identification of the rioters and Griffin was spotted throwing rocks and glass bottles. He was also seen pushing the bin which had been set alight.
Griffin was arrested and admitted taking part in the riot “because everyone else was”. He said that he had also thrown a bike at one of the vans.
Tyrell initially claimed that he had just been at home in Dorset Street but later accepted he had been involved in the riot and had thrown a pole at a garda van.
He said he had thrown rocks and stones at gardaí but claimed he had directed them at their shields.
Gda Dolan agreed with Dean Kelly BL, defending Griffin, that his client was not a part of a republican group and had been up all the previous night binge drinking.
She agreed that Griffin regularly came to garda attention but has since “quietened down”.
Gda Dolan agreed with Marc Thompson Grolimund BL, defending Tyrell that others were masterminding the riot that day and directing the local youths were to go.
She accepted that Tyrell had never been involved in any political type of protest before.
Gda Dolan confirmed to Judge Ring that none of the ringleaders of the riot have been prosecuted.
She said damage had been done to cars and the front doors along Dorset Street. A number of gardaí received minor injuries but there are no charges before the courts other than the violent disorder charge.