‘Love/Hate’ star faces trial over armed robbery

Stephen Clinch: Served with a book of evidence and sent forward fortrial, over a €50,000 armed robbery at a hotel in Dublin City centre.

Love/Hate star Stephen Clinch has been served with a book of evidence, and sent forward for trial, over a €50,000 armed robbery at a hotel in Dublin City centre.

Clinch, 49, who played Noely in the hit RTÉ series, and a second man, had been initially held in custody on remand, in May, following an alleged raid. But Clinch has been granted bail pending his trial.

Clinch, with an address at Millbrook Grove, Kilbarrack, Dublin, and his co-defendant are charged with the robbery of €50,730 and with possessing a firearm at the Gate Hotel, on Parnell Street, on the morning of May 11.

Dublin District Court had heard that a loaded, 9mm, semi-automatic pistol was allegedly put to the head of a security worker collecting cash and that it was claimed Clinch later pointed the gun at another employee, who gave chase.

The court has heard that ten hotel workers pursued and disarmed Mr Clinch, before restraining him and an alleged accomplice, until gardaí arrived.

Clinch had been initially refused bail. However, this has since been granted by the High Court.

He appeared again before Judge Anthony Halpin, at Dublin District Court yesterday, and was served with a book of evidence.

Judge Halpin then made an order sending him forward for trial to the Dublin Circuit Criminal Court, where he will face his next hearing on October 16.

The actor, who has not yet entered a plea, remains on bail, with conditions that he must carry a mobile phone, obey a 12pm-to-7am curfew, sign on daily at his local garda station and not associate with a co-accused, except for legal consultations.

Clinch’s case had been adjourned to yesterday for the independent surety (the person who has stood bail for him) to be present when he was being returned for trial to the circuit court.

In his role in Love/Hate, Clinch’s character was infamously involved in a savage pool-cue prison attack on Fran in the series finale. He also appeared in Darndale: The Edge of Town, a TV3 documentary series about life in the north Dublin suburb.

At an earlier stage in the proceedings, Dublin District Court was told that Clinch had recently been offered a lead role in a film about clerical abuse, which has been commissioned by the Broadcasting Authority of Ireland.

A second man has also been charged in connection with the alleged robbery and is currently before the courts.

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