Lawyers for a man accused of using threatening and abusive language towards President Michael D. Higgins claim his summons is “fatally flawed”.
The trial of Derek Byrne of Streamville Road, Kilbarrack in Dublin was due to start today but he claims that he does not even know what the allegation is.
On January 23 last year, President Michael D. Higgins was leaving the grounds of a secondary school in Finglas, Dublin when a group of water charge protesters approached his car.
A number of them are alleged to have shouted abuse at him and three people were subsequently arrested and charged with public order offences.
Under Section 6 of the relevant Act, it is illegal for anyone in a public place to engage in any threatening, abusive or insulting words or behaviour.
This was the allegation contained in the summonses sent to Derek Byrne and his co-accused Anna Clarke of St. Donagh’s Road, Donaghmede in Dublin.
Their trial was due to begin today, but their lawyers argued they could not meet the case because the summons was too vague.
They said they did not know what their clients were accused of doing and argued it would be an injustice to proceed on that basis.
Judge Bryan Smyth adjourned the matter until March 23.
Another man is due to have his trial heard in Irish on Thursday.