Man charged with firework attack during anti-lockdown protest

Jake Merriman, 30, was charged with five offences related to his attendance at the protest demonstration which spilled into violence at the weekend
Man charged with firework attack during anti-lockdown protest

Jake Merriman was charged with three Section 11 offences, one of discharging an 'eight-shot Cannon firework' at gardaí and two incidents of throwing glass bottles at officers.

A man has appeared in court suspected of launching fireworks at gardaí during an anti-lockdown protest.

Jake Merriman, 30, of Meadowlands Avenue, Monkstown, South Dublin was charged with five offences related to his attendance at the protest demonstration which spilled into violence at the weekend.

He was charged with three Section 11 offences, one of discharging an “eight-shot Cannon firework” at gardaí and two incidents of throwing glass bottles at officers.

Two Section 9(5) offences related to possession of glass bottles with intent to throw them at Gardaí.

Judge Brian O’Shea said there were “no circumstances in which this could be viewed as a minor offence”.

Dublin District Court at the Criminal Courts of Justice heard there was significant evidence in the case, including CCTV footage and witness statements in relation to identification.

Merriman, who was granted bail, was seen visibly shaking in court as the case was heard.

Arresting officer Detective Sgt Patrick Traynor opposed bail based on the seriousness of the charges before the court and the sentences they carry.

He said the accused “made no attempt to conceal his identity” during the incidents and added that investigations are ongoing.

The judge said that while he appreciated concerns over the seriousness of the charges he did not want to incarcerate the accused for up to a year before trial.

Judge O’Shea remanded him on a €200 bail bond for six weeks. Merriman is scheduled to appear again on April 14 2021 for trial and indictment.

Merriman was ordered to sign on twice a week at Shankhill Garda Station, stay away from the Dublin 2 area including Grafton St and to keep the peace.

The accused’s solicitor Niall O’Connor made an application for legal aid.

The court heard Merriman had “a business in relation to power washing” but was now unemployed and receiving the pandemic unemployment payment (PUP).

The incidents took place during an anti-lockdown protest near Grafton Street in Dublin City Centre on Saturday.

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