Youths remanded in connection with St Patrick's Day riots

Seven youths were brought before the Children’s Court today to be charged with a range of offences in connection with riots that broke out in Finglas in Dublin during St Patrick’s Day festivities.

Three 16-year-old boys, two boys (aged 17) and two other youths, who are now 18 but were juveniles at the time of the alleged offences, were remanded on bail by Judge Bryan Smyth for two weeks pending directions from the DPP.

The alleged offences happened in the Berryfield and Cardiffsbridge Road areas in Finglas, on March 17 last.

One of the 16-year-old boys is charged with threatening “to kill or cause serious harm” to a garda, obstruction of a garda, and engaging in abusive behaviour, at Cardiffsbridge Road, in Finglas.

Garda Eamon Ryan said that the teenager, who was accompanied to court by his father replied “not guilty” when he was charged.

Garda Patricia Doyle gave evidence on the six remaining defendants, who were arrested on two separate dates last month.

She charged one of them with unlawfully travelling as a passenger in a stolen vehicle while five were charged with engaging in a violent disorder.

Garda Doyle said that one replied: “I don’t remember” and another said: “I don’t know” when cautioned. The rest had no response.

One of the 16-year-old boys was remanded in his absence. He had been accompanied to the courthouse by his social worker but neither was present when the case was called. His solicitor Ms Michelle Finan said she would notify both about the next court appearance.

One of the defendants was accompanied by both of his parents, one came with his father and the rest were with their mothers for the brief proceedings today, during which all of the teens remained silent.

Legal aid was granted with the court hearing that many of the defendants, who are from north Dublin, were unemployed.

The DPP’s directions are being sought in relation to a decision on whether the case is to be retained in the jurisdiction of the Children’s Court or instead be sent forward on indictment to the Dublin Circuit Criminal Court, which can, on conviction, impose lengthier sentences.

During the St Patrick’s night troubles, gardaí in riot gear and the garda helicopter were called in to tackle an outbreak of violence and cars being hijacked and set on fire.

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