Homeless man involved in Henry Street incident with Garda charged in court

Court: The homeless man has been charged in relation to the incident
Court: The homeless man has been charged in relation to the incident

A HOMELESS man has been charged under the Public Order Act arising out of an incident on Dublin's Henry Street last week in which his arrest was filmed and went viral on the internet.

Polish national Krzysztof Podgorzec, 35, who is of no fixed abode appeared at Dublin District Court today. 

He faces two charges in connection with an alleged incident on Henry Street on March 13: being intoxicated to such and extent in public that he was a danger to himself and others, and breach of the peace by engaging in threatening, abusive or insulting words or behaviour.

Both are a summary only offences that are dealt with at district court level. On conviction the first charge carries a fine while the second can result in a three-month sentence as well as a monetary penalty.

A court garda furnished the court with details of the arrest. Defence solicitor Stephen O'Mahony, of Cahir O'Higgins & Co, told Judge Michael Coghlan that a long remand period was sought.

The defence said it was a matter that involved a possible complaint to the Garda Siochana Ombudsman Commission (GSOC).

The solicitor asked to be furnished with disclosure of prosecution evidence to include any CCTV. The prosecution said there was no CCTV footage but Mr O'Mahony said that as location that features in the allegation was Henry St, there should be some video evidence.

Legal aid was granted to the 35-year-old who has not yet indicated how he will plead.

A video of the alleged incident was posted on the internet and has gone viral with the clip appearing to show an officer arresting a man lying in a doorway under a sleeping bag.  

GSOC have confirmed that they will open an investigation. In a statement GSOC said today that they considered that this was desirable in the public interest as a result of the level of public disquiet generated by this incident.

Separately a Garda superintendent has been asked to examine events around the arrest.

Read: Garda Ombudsman Commission to investigate 'pepper-spraying' incident.