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bail granted Church supplier appears in court after truck driven through Russian embassy gates

Desmond Wisley (49) appeared in court today after he was arrested over the incident yesterday.

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Desmond Wisley from Leitrim leaving Tallaght Court this morning. Photo: Collins Courts

Desmond Wisley from Leitrim leaving Tallaght Court this morning. Photo: Collins Courts

Desmond Wisley from Leitrim leaving Tallaght Court this morning. Photo: Collins Courts

A businessman has been charged with criminal damage and dangerous driving after a truck went through the gates of Dublin's Russian embassy in a protest against the war in Ukraine.

Church supplier Desmond Wisley (49) appeared in court today after he was arrested over the incident yesterday.

Judge Patricia McNamara granted him bail on condition that he stays away from the embassy at Orwell Road, Rathmines and has no contact with staff

The accused, from Tully, Ballinamore, Co Leitrim is charged with dangerous driving and causing criminal damage.

This morning, Garda Aishling Conroy told Tallaght District Court the accused made no reply when charged and cautioned at Rathfarnham garda station at 8.40pm yesterday.

She said she had no objection to bail subject to conditions.

Judge McNamara asked Mr Wisley if he had a solicitor to represent him. "None, your honour," he replied and the judge told him he would have to tell the court whether he agreed to the bail conditions.

She also told the accused he might be entitled to free legal aid depending on his financial circumstances.

Bail was set in Mr Wisley's own bond of €300, with no cash lodgement required. Under conditions, he is to stay away from Orwell Road, Dublin 14 and Ailesbury Road, Dublin 4.

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The truck that crashed through the gates of the Russian Embassy in south Dublin. Picture: Collins

The truck that crashed through the gates of the Russian Embassy in south Dublin. Picture: Collins

The truck that crashed through the gates of the Russian Embassy in south Dublin. Picture: Collins

He must refrain from posting on social media anything relating to the case and refrain from contacting any staff of the Russian Embassy, directly or indirectly.

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Mr Wisley stood in the dock and agreed to all the bail conditions as they were read out to him

The judge warned him if he breached any of them he could be arrested immediately and put back into custody.

Gda Conroy said DPP directions were awaited and asked for an adjournment.

The judge remanded the accused on bail to appear in court again on April 26.

Outside the court, Mr Wisley condemned the "atrocities being carried out by Putin in Ukraine," and said he wanted to be able to say of the war that he "kept the pressure on."

Mr Wisley was arrested after the incident at around 1.20pm yesterday and taken to Rathfarnham garda station.

Gardaí sealed off the scene at Orwell Road, and the rigid body truck bearing signage of Mr Wisley’s ecclesiastical supplies firm remained reversed into the embassy driveway with the damaged gate visible behind it.
It was later towed away.

Video showed the truck reversing through the closed gates and stopping halfway in, before the driver got out.

In a video taken by a witness at the scene afterwards, the driver held up a picture of a family killed in Ukraine, copies of which he handed out to protesters nearby.

Security barriers were erected yesterday evening creating a buffer between the embassy and protesters.

The Russian embassy initially accused the Government of violating international law for allowing the incident to happen, and claimed members of the Garda “stood idle” as the incident happened.

In a follow-up statement, however, the embassy said: “Additional measures have been undertaken by the Garda to ensure safety and security of the embassy and its personnel. The embassy appreciates cooperation by the Irish authorities in this matter.”

In his statement to reporters outside the courthouse, Mr Wisley thanked the gardai for the "professionalism, courtesy and kindness" they showed him on arrest.

“It shows us how democracy should work,” he said.

“I did this to keep the pressure on Putin, to stop the war in Ukraine, especially the murder of innocent children,” Mr Wisley said.

“It is the job of the Russian ambassador to report the mood of this nation back to the Kremlin. Now he is either afraid of Putin and he’s filling Putin with propaganda to save his sorry soul.

"If he’s in fear of Putin then any staff should seek asylum in this great country. But if he is going to continue spreading lies about the war and not tell Putin that enough is enough and to stop the war for the sake of the children, then I ask the Irish government to expel the ambassador and his staff back to Russia,” he continued.

“I did this in memory of the woman and three kids who were murdered by the Russian mortar which fell beside them in Ukraine.

"The picture shows the bodies of the three children clutching their bags making a bid for freedom. They did not know what happened to them. I felt their pain in that split second and it will live with me forever. We are sleepwalking into this war, it’s happening in slow motion before our very eyes.

“In 30 years time when my grandkids ask me what did you do to stop the war, I don’t want to say I scrolled on my phone and I channel-hopped the whole way through it. I want to say I kept the pressure on,” Mr Wisley said.

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