Dail sword maniac escapes jail for his 'one-man rebellion'
An unemployed teenager was staging a "one man rebellion" against the Government when he charged into the grounds of Leinster house brandishing a sword used in the 1916 Rising, a court heard.
Jordan Buckley (19) had been struggling to find a job when he saw his great-grandfather's antique army sword and came up with the "hair-brained scheme".
He was ordered to carry out 200 hours community service instead of a 10-month jail sentence when he admitted charges at Dublin District Court.
Buckley, with an address at Kells Road, Crumlin, pleaded guilty to trespassing with an offensive weapon at Leinster House on April 29.
He also admitted trespassing with intent to cause fear, and resisting arrest.
Garda Dwayne Conlon told Judge Michael Walsh Buckley entered the grounds wearing a black hooded top, green t-shirt and jeans and carrying a large sword at 4.30pm.
The house was not sitting on the day but members of the Dail and the public were present.
Gda Conlon drew his baton and the accused came to a stop but raised his sword "as if he was preparing to strike".
Buckley ran around the garda and made his way to the front door of Leinster House. Gda Conlon gave chase and the accused attempted to enter the revolving door. He managed to grab Buckley and arrest him with the help of a colleague.
After his arrest, gardai noticed three knives protruding from his clothes. The accused was subsequently co-operative. He had no previous convictions.
"It was an entirely misguided and ill-conceived stunt on the part of a disaffected youth," his solicitor Paul Hannon said.
He explained that it had not been pre-meditated. The sword belonged to the accused's great-grandfather; it was from the 1916 rebellion and was a family heirloom, Mr Hannon said. Buckley took it for "symbolic" purposes.
The garda confirmed to the court the accused's great-grandfather had been a captain in the army during the civil war.
Buckley saw the sword over the mantelpiece and took it on himself to embark on a "hair-brained scheme."
He had a "general feeling that he had issues in relation to the Government's austerity measures" and decided to stage a "one man rebellion."
Buckley had no interest in politics and did not even know what various members of the Government looked like, apart from the Taoiseach. The knives were for self-defence, Mr Hannon said.