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Mask protester 'hit activist over the head with plank at demo', court is told

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Michael Quinn is alleged to have hit Ruth O’Rourke with a large plank of wood wrapped in a Tricolour at an anti-mask demonstration

Michael Quinn is alleged to have hit Ruth O’Rourke with a large plank of wood wrapped in a Tricolour at an anti-mask demonstration

CollinsPhotoAgency

Michael Quinn is alleged to have hit Ruth O’Rourke with a large plank of wood wrapped in a Tricolour at an anti-mask demonstration

A protester at an anti-mask rally outside the Dáil hit an LGBTQ activist over the head with a plank of wood wrapped in an Irish Tricolour, it has been alleged.

Michael Quinn (29) is accused of attacking and injuring Ruth O'Rourke, who is known as Izzy Kamikaze, after spotting her in a counter-protest to the demonstration against Covid-19 restrictions.

He is facing trial after a judge ruled the case was too serious to be heard at Dublin District Court.

Judge Brian O'Shea granted him bail with no garda objection and adjourned the case.

Mr Quinn, with an address at Malone Flats, Market Street, Ardee, Co Louth, is charged with assault causing harm to Ms O'Rourke.

The incident is alleged to have happened at Kildare Street on September 12.

Evidence of the accused's arrest, charge and caution was handed in to court.

The DPP consented to the case being dealt with summarily at district court level.

Judge O'Shea asked for an outline of the allegations so he could consider the issue of jurisdiction.

Garda Sergeant Gail Smith said the accused arrived at Kildare Street at 1.10pm to take part in a protest.

At 3pm the alleged victim arrived at the scene and Mr Quinn "noticed her presence".

It was alleged that the accused and some other people approached her and "the defendant struck the injured party on the head with a large plank of wood which had a large Tricolour attached to it", Sgt Smith said.

This resulted in injuries to her head, it was alleged.

The judge granted bail in the accused's own bond of €100.

Under conditions, he is to stay out of Dublin 2 and provide a mobile phone number to gardaí at which he is contactable at all times.

Judge O'Shea adjourned the case to December 4, for the consent of the DPP to the accused being sent forward for a circuit court trial.

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He said he could not adjourn it for the preparation of a book of evidence until the DPP formally directed trial on indictment following his jurisdiction refusal.

Legal aid was granted after an application was made by the defence, who said the accused was in receipt of disability allowance.

Mr Quinn, who wore a black face mask in court, was not required to speak during the hearing.


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