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Barber in threats case warned to stay out of playground

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Paul Clarke is alleged to have hurled abuse at gardai

Paul Clarke is alleged to have hurled abuse at gardai

Paul Clarke is alleged to have hurled abuse at gardai

A barber was arrested at a gathering in a closed playground that was stocked with alcohol and had a large music speaker with a power cord running into it, a court has heard.

Paul Clarke (27) is alleged to have hurled abuse at gardai who investigated the incident in Dublin's south inner city.

Judge John Hughes granted him bail on condition that he stays out of the playground and several nearby streets.

Mr Clarke, of Clonard Road, Crumlin, is charged with threatening, abusive and insulting behaviour and failing to comply with garda directions at Vicar Street playground on May 27.

He is also charged with viol- ent behaviour at Kevin Street Garda Station.

Dublin District Court heard gardai had no objection to bail, but were seeking conditions, including the accused's exclusion from Dublin 8.

A garda sergeant told Judge Hughes that officers were on duty at 4.30pm when they saw the accused among a number of males inside a small playground that had been closed due to the Covid-19 crisis.

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There was a large quantity of alcohol and a large speaker with a cable running into the playground from a nearby power source.

It was from the garda's engagement with Mr Clarke that the alleged offences arose, the court heard.

Defence solicitor Daniel Hanahoe said his client owned a nearby barber's shop and was hopeful it would reopen soon.

He asked the judge to amend the bail conditions to allow Mr Clarke to go to his business.

While the date for reopening was next month, the accused needed to have access to the premises.

The sergeant said the reason gardai were seeking the bail condition was that "there seems to be a public order issue in that area in relation to similar incidents".

Judge Hughes said requiring the accused to stay out of Dublin 8 would be a "significant restriction" in the face of the presumption of innocence.

The bail conditions listed a number of streets the accused is to stay out of, not including the one where his business is located.