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Criminal damage Extinction Rebellion activists charged over ‘No More Empty Promises’ graffiti on Department of Foreign Affairs

The court heard that the incident at 1.20pm on Friday was filmed and live-streamed on the Extinction Rebellion Cork’s Facebook page.

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Paint was splattered on the front of the building and graffiti saying “no more empty promises” sprayed across the building’s entrance. Photo: Sam Boal / RollingNews.ie

Paint was splattered on the front of the building and graffiti saying “no more empty promises” sprayed across the building’s entrance. Photo: Sam Boal / RollingNews.ie

Paint was splattered on the front of the building and graffiti saying “no more empty promises” sprayed across the building’s entrance. Photo: Sam Boal / RollingNews.ie

Two Extinction Rebellion activists have been held on strict bail terms after a court heard they travelled from Cork to Dublin to carry out a live-streamed graffiti attack at the Department of Foreign affairs.

Orla Murphy, 19, with an address at Ballinacarrig, Whitechurch, Co. Cork and 21-year-old Oxford University biology student Zachery Lumley, from South Lodge Ballinlough, Cork City were arrested on Friday afternoon.

They were charged with criminal damage at cabinet minister Simon Coveney’s department building, Iveagh House, at St Stephen’s Green, Dublin 2.

Paint was splattered on the front of the building and graffiti saying “no more empty promises” sprayed across the building’s entrance which could cost thousands of euro to fix. The event was described by Extinction Rebellion as non-violent direct action.

Posters were also stuck to the wall of the building.

They appeared before Judge Paula Murphy at Dublin District Court on Saturday.

They faced objections to bail, however, defence solicitor Niamh Kelly pleaded for them to be released with conditions.

Judge Paula Murphy ordered them to stay out of Dublin and away from all Government buildings and to abide by covid-19 restrictions.

However, former film student Orla Murphy refused to sign the bail bond agreeing to those terms. She was remanded in custody with consent to bail to appear again Thursday.

Arresting gardai Philip Farrissey and Paul Cummins had objected to bail citing the seriousness of the case

Garda Farrissey told the court that Orla Murphy had already been ordered earlier to stay away from the Dublin 2 area and all government buildings.

The court heard that the incident at 1.20pm on Friday was filmed and live-streamed on the Extinction Rebellion Cork’s Facebook page. It has been viewed thousands of time, Judge Murphy was told.

The footage was played during the bail hearing.

Garda Cummins said it was alleged that it was premeditated and pro-longed attack lasting 12 minutes. Zachery Lumley filmed and encouraged and "egged on" his co-accused while shouting a tirade of his political views, Garda Cummins said.

The gardai told the court that repairs have commenced and could cost up to €10,000.

Directions from the Director of Public Prosecution need to be obtained.

Defence solicitor Niamh Kelly said his clients still had the presumption of innocence. Pleading for bail, the solicitor said that Ms Murphy had been a film student but became involved in climate activism and youths groups.

She had health problems including depression, the court was told. Ms Kelly also said her client would undertake to turn up to court for her next hearing.

Her bail was set at €1,000 and she must lodge €500, continue to reside at her home address, sign on daily at her local garda station, stay out of Dublin city and county and remain contactable by phone at all times. The judge warned her she would have to abide the coronavirus restrictions and not go near any government building.

However, Ms Murphy refused to obey these terms and was remanded in custody with consent to bail.

Similar conditions were imposed on Mr Lumley who was also told he must lodge €500 in his own bond. The judge also said he must have an independent surety in the sum of €2,500 approved.

The court heard he was in his final year at university but attending lectures remotely and had an unblemished record. He was extremely concerned about the climate crisis and suffered from depression partly brought on by the issue, his solicitor told the court.

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