A man, who was one of the homeless people prevented from sleeping outside a building used by Tánaiste Joan Burton’s department, is to face a fitness-to-plead hearing, a court has ordered.
Patrick O’Sullivan, aged 41, who spent more 20 years as a long-stay patient with severe mental illness before being released from care, had been sleeping rough outside Gandon House on Amien St, in Dublin’s city centre, which is used by the Department of Social Protection.
Last month, metal bars, which have been compared to anti-homeless spikes seen in London, were installed along the outer ledges of the building. The privately owned building has been leased by the Office of Public Works on behalf of the State.
Mr O’Sullivan is currently before Dublin District Court on minor public order and assault charges and has been allowed a preliminary hearing to determine if he is fit to plead. Mr O’Sulllivan, who is of no fixed abode, has been charged with being intoxicated to such an extent he was a danger to himself and others, breach of the peace and an alleged minor assault on a garda at North Earl St in Dublin City centre which is alleged to have occurred on December 24.
He sat down in the defendant’s bench at Dublin District Court and told Judge James Faughnan he believed his hearing “is a dream”.
Defence solicitor Donal Quigley asked for medical reports on the defendant’s mental health to be authorised by the court.
“I was accused of trespassing at the Reichstag,” the accused interjected, adding, “was shot in the arm, I was accused of trespassing the next day”.
“I’m dreaming,” he kept saying as his lawyer also addressed the court. “Pay homage to the judge, I’ll go to my execution willingly,” Mr O’Sullivan also said.
Mr Quigley said his client had spent 21 years in care but was recently released by the HSE. He is now sleeping rough and had been one of the people recently publicised who slept at night outside Gandon House before they were moved.
Judge Faughnan agreed to order the medical reports sought by the defence for the defendant’s fitness-to-plead hearing which is scheduled for April. There was no objection to bail.
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