Court hears Liffey chase accused owns boat he was arrested in

Liffey Boat chase Gardaí at the scene of the incident (Pic: Tony Gavin)
Liffey Boat chase Gardaí at the scene of the incident (Pic: Tony Gavin)

A DUBLIN man is the owner of a boat he is accused of stealing during an alleged drunken chase along the River Liffey, a court heard today.

Emergency services were alerted to an incident at about 6am on June 1 when a boat was taken from its mooring at a south Dublin bank sailing club.

Following a pursuit on the Liffey a boat was brought to a halt and later two Dublin men were arrested and taken to Irishtown Garda station.

Brian Stacey, 44, of Derry Drive, Crumlin and Ronan Stephens, 40, from Captain’s Road also in Crumlin face seven charges under the Maritime Safety Act, the Theft and Fraud Act and the Public Order Act in connection with the alleged incident.

They appeared before Judge Michael Walsh at Dublin District Court on June 1 and were granted bail providing they do not take part in any boating activities on the Liffey unless with the approval in writing of gardai and the Dublin harbour master.

They are accused of being under influence of alcohol and failing to stop for gardai at Poolbeg Yacht and Boat Club while being the operator of a boat, theft of a pleasure craft worth €11,000, navigating the craft without due care and attention and endangerment of a RNLI lifeboat crew at the Shipping Lane on the River Liffey, trespassing at Poolbeg Yacht and Boat Club and breach of the peace.

The pair appeared again at the district court on Thursday when Garda Paul Moody asked Judge Michael Walsh for an eight-week adjournment to get directions from the Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP).

Judge Walsh ordered the pair to appear again on a date in September.

Solicitor Michael Kelleher, for Mr Stacey, said he intends to write to the DPP because his client is the owner of the boat and has a receipt.

Judge Walsh agreed to remove a bail condition banning Mr Stacey from the Liffey without getting permission from gardai and the harbour master.

At the first hearing on June 1, Garda Paul Moody said Mr Stacey “made no reply” when he was charged.

He said the incident began in the early hours of that morning and was on-going when he took up duty at 7am. Mr Stacey was arrested at 8.25 am at Poolbeg Yacht and Boat Club.

Garda Moody said it was alleged the incident happened at the Shipping Lane of the River Liffey at the East Link Bridge coming into Dublin city.

At their first hearing, Garda Patrick Collins had told the court that the co-defendant Ronan Stephens also “made no reply” after caution when he was charged.

He was arrested at Sir John Rogerson’s Quay.

He was ordered not to partake in boating activities on the Liffey without the prior consent, in writing, of the harbour master and gardai at Irishtown station.