Father and daughter in court after protest at Israeli embassy

Saoirse and Stephen   Bennett at court yesterday where they where charged with causing criminal damage to a sign at the Israeli Embassy on Pembroke Rd, Dublin 4, last week.

A father and daughter appeared in court yesterday charged with resisting arrest and criminal damage during a protest at the Israeli embassy in Dublin.

Stephen Bennett, 42, and his 20-year-old daughter, Saoirse Bennett, had been arrested after they attended a rally at the embassy on Pembroke Rd, in Dublin 4, to protest against Israel’s attacks on Gaza.

The Bennetts, who have an address at Pearse Green, Sallynoggin, Dublin, face charges of resisting arrest and an allegation that they unlawfully damaged a sign at embassy.

They have not yet entered pleas but were granted conditional bail by Judge Michael Coghlan.

The court heard it was alleged Ms Bennett “broke a sign that was on top of a wall outside the embassy” and was arrested a short distance from the scene.

During the bail hearing, her solicitor, Michael Finucane, argued that the damage could have been caused by any one of a number of people who had been present.

Gardaí had asked the court to impose a bail condition compelling the accused to stay away from the embassy.

After taking instructions from his client, Mr Finucane said she agreed to be of good behaviour.

The judge said he noted the context in which it is alleged the incident occurred and he ordered the activist not to trespass at the Israeli Embassy.

Mr Finucane also said he was asking for CCTV evidence from the scene to be prepared.

Mr Bennett was described by his solicitor, Cahir O’Higgins, as an activist who protests legitimately, and the lawyer added that his client would do so in a lawful and peaceful manner.

Judge Coghlan said legitimate protesters do not act violently to gardaí or cause damage to property. The pair were remanded on bail to appear again in September to allow directions from the DPP to be obtained.


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