Love Ulster rioter gets three years' jail term

A love Ulster rioter who threw blocks at gardaí and helped to cause nearly €40,000 of damage to parked cars has been given a three year sentence by Judge Katherine Delahunt at Dublin Circuit Criminal Court.

A love Ulster rioter who threw blocks at gardaí and helped to cause nearly €40,000 of damage to parked cars has been given a three year sentence by Judge Katherine Delahunt at Dublin Circuit Criminal Court.

Pierce McComiskey, (aged 29) of Greenfort Close, Clondalkin, pleaded guilty to violent disorder at O’Connell Street on February 2, 2006 and three counts of criminal damage to cars on the same date.

Judge Delahunt told him: "Such attacks on gardaí while they are carrying out their lawful duty of protecting the other people on the street will not be tolerated under any circumstances."

She imposed a sentence of three years imprisonment with the final year suspended on strict conditions.

Garda John Phelan told Mr John Quirke BL, prosecuting, that McComiskey had been recognised by gardaí following a review of CCTV and TV film crew footage of the riots.

McComiskey could be seen on the footage throwing blocks at the Public Order Unit on O'Connell Street, engaging in threatening, hostile and abusive behaviour towards gardaí.

He was also observed in a group of 20 people helping to overturn a BMW parked at South Leinster Street. The car was found later by its owner burnt out. McComiskey was seen pouring petrol on cars parked at Nassau and South Leinster Street. Total damage to the cars was estimated at €38,890.

Gda Phelan said McComiskey, who has seven previous convictions, came voluntarily to the Garda station where he identified himself on the footage and admitted his involvement in the riots.

Ms Grainne O'Neill BL, defending, said that her client was a drug addict who had come into the city centre early that morning to buy drugs. She said he had been using heroin and crack cocaine for several hours when he came upon the riot by chance and got involved.

She said his judgment had been impaired on the day but he has since cooperated with gardaí and has not come to any further adverse Garda attention.

Ms O'Neill said that McComiskey came from a dysfunctional background where both his siblings had drug addictions and his mother suffered from mental issues. She said that he had recently become a father and wished to address his drug addiction.

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