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Man charged with intimidating TD during Dáil protest

A young man has appeared in court charged with intimidating independent TD Michael Healy-Rae and trying to impede the politician from entering Government Buildings during a protest.

About 200 protesters held a rally outside Leinster House on 20 September 2023 as the Dáil resumed following the summer recess, leading to several arrests.

Dean Hickson, 21 and of Griffith Parade, Finglas East Dublin, appeared at Dublin District Court accused of intimidating Mr Healy-Rae at Kildare Street Dublin 2, on 20 September 2023.

Pearse Street Garda Chloe Rochfort obtained directions from the Director of Public Prosecutions to charge him under section nine of the Non-Fatal Offences Against the Person Act.

The DPP directed summary disposal in the District Court, which can impose a 12-month sentence and a fine, rather than a trial at the Circuit Court level, which can impose a sentence of up to five years.

Judge Paula Murphy accepted jurisdiction after hearing a summary of the prosecution evidence.

Judge Murphy ordered him to appear again on 16 April to enter a plea.

Mr Hickson, who is unemployed, was granted legal aid.

The defence was granted an order for disclosure of prosecution evidence, including video footage.

Mr Healy-Rae, 57, was not required to attend the proceedings but could be called as a witness to testify if the case proceeds to a contested hearing.

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