Extinction Rebellion activists from Cork to face trial for graffiti attack on Govt building

The court heard that the incident was allegedly filmed and live-streamed on the Extinction Rebellion Cork's Facebook page
Extinction Rebellion activists from Cork to face trial for graffiti attack on Govt building

Zac Lumley (left) and Orla Murphy (centre) outside the Criminal Courts of Justice with supporters from Extinction Rebellion. Picture: Colin Keegan

Two Extinction Rebellion activists will go on trial in February over a live-streamed graffiti attack at the Department of Foreign Affairs in Dublin.

Gardaí arrested Orla Murphy, 20, with an address at Ballinacarrig, Whitechurch, Co. Cork and 21-year-old Oxford University biology student Zachery Lumley, from South Lodge Ballinlough, Cork City, on the afternoon of March 19 last.

They were charged with criminal damage at Cabinet Minister Simon Coveney’s department building, Iveagh House, at St Stephen’s Green, Dublin 2. Paint was splattered on the front of the building, with graffiti, "no more empty promises," sprayed across the building's entrance.

Posters were also stuck to the wall of the building. They were granted bail at Dublin District Court the following day.

Former film student Orla Murphy was held in custody for several weeks before she signed her bail bond and was released.

An initial estimate given in court was that repairs could cost up to €10,000. However, today, Judge John Hughes was told it was €4,300, and he accepted jurisdiction for the case in the district court.

They did not have to come to the proceedings today, but defence counsel Eimear Delargy said a hearing was required. The judge noted their not guilty pleas and set February 9 as the trial date.

In March, arresting gardaí Philip Farrissey and Paul Cummins had objected to bail, citing the seriousness of the case. The court heard that the incident was allegedly filmed and live-streamed on the Extinction Rebellion Cork's Facebook page.

Garda Cummins maintained it was a premeditated and prolonged attack lasting 12 minutes. Zachery Lumley allegedly filmed and encouraged his co-defendant, he had said.

The district court was told Ms Murphy had been a film student but became involved in climate activism and youths groups. Mr Lumley, a university student with an unblemished record, was also concerned about the climate crisis.

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