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Man sent for trial accused of Phoenix Park bomb hoaxes

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Accused John Murphy

Accused John Murphy

Accused John Murphy

A Dublin man has been sent for trial accused of making hoax reports that bombs had been planted at the Wellington monument in the Phoenix Park.

John Murphy (44) is alleged to have sparked a security alert by making bogus phone calls to gardai.

He had a book of evidence served on him when he appeared at Dublin District Court yesterday.

Judge Colin Daly returned him for trial to Dublin Circuit Criminal Court.

Mr Murphy, of Buckingham Street in the north inner city, is charged with three counts of making false reports that an offence had been committed or tending to give rise to apprehension for the safety of people and property.

All three offences are alleged to have happened at an unknown location on May 16, 2019.

A State solicitor said a book of evidence was ready and had been served on the accused.

The DPP was consenting to the accused being sent forward to the present sittings of the circuit court, he said.

Judge Daly gave Mr Murphy the formal notice that he had 14 days to provide any alibi details to the prosecution.

He also ordered the prosecution to furnish the defence with copies of the accused's Garda interview videos.

Mr Murphy was not required to address the court and has not yet entered a plea to the charges.

Following an application by defence solicitor Michael Kelleher, the judge extended free legal aid to cover one barrister in the circuit court.

The court previously heard the accused was unemployed and on social welfare.

The DPP had consented to the case being dealt summarily at district court level but another judge had refused jurisdiction to deal with it at an earlier hearing.

Helicopter

The court was given an outline of the prosecution evidence on the previous date.

It would be alleged that officers in the Garda communication centre on Harcourt Street received a number of calls, the court was told.

It was reported that the caller had planted a number of bombs at the Wellington Monument.

Garda units including a helicopter unit were dispatched. However, no device was found.

The court heard that the accused was traced through his phone number and he made admissions following arrest.