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Dublin woman to face trial over alleged obscene phone calls to Dail

Anne Fennell leaving Dublin District Court
Anne Fennell leaving Dublin District Court

A 57-year-old Dublin woman is to stand trial accused of a litany of obscene phone calls to Aras an Uachtarain and the Dail.

Anne Fennell of Monastery Gate Green, Clondalkin, has been granted bail by Dublin District Court while prosecutors prepare a book of evidence.

She has been warned that she cannot contact members of the Oireacthas, or Aras an Uachtarain.

The defendant faces 22 charges under the Post Office Act for making grossly offensive phone calls or persistently sending telephone messages that were false and for the purpose of causing annoyance, over a 20-month period.

State solicitor Tom Conlon told Judge Michael Walsh the DPP has directed that Ms Fennell must face trial on indictment. This means her case will be dealt with at the higher level, in the circuit court which has tougher sentencing powers. 

Six garda detectives based in Dublin and Co. Tipperary stations told the court Ms Fennell made no reply when she was charged.

No plea was entered at the hearing and she was remanded on bail to appear again at the district court on May 29 when it is expected she will be served with the book of evidence.

Judge Walsh imposed bail conditions stating she must sign on twice a week at her local station and provide gardai with a contact telephone number.

Pearse Street Garda Amy Kelly, who has charged Ms Fennell with three of the alleged offences, also asked the court for a condition stating she must have “no contact with Dail Eireann of members of Dail Eireann”.

The judge agreed ordering the accused not to contact any member of the Oireacthas or Aras an Uachtarain.

Ms Fennell is alleged to have made an indecent, grossly offensive and obscene call to Dail Eireann, on November 18, 2014, and a nuisance call to a named person there on the following day.

The 57-year-old, who did not address the court, is also accused of making nine obscene calls to Aras an Uachtarain on dates in April, October and November last year. 

It is alleged that three of the calls were made to the President's official residence on April 8, last year, and two on the previous day.

The woman is also accused of making calls with false messages to cause annoyance to the Department of Finance, and EU Commission offices in Dublin.

Other charges involve allegations of nuisance phone messages to four named people at locations in Nenagh and Templemore in Co. Tipperary.

The remaining counts relate to phone calls allegedly sent to named people or locations in Dublin: at Bishop Square in the city-centre, Philipsburg Avenue in Marino, and an An Post office at Oak Road in D12.

The incidents are alleged to have occurred between March 2013 and November the following year.