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Rebels with a cause Extinction Rebellion activists will face trial if they contest graffiti attack case, court hears

Up to €10,000 worth of damage was caused at the Department of Foreign Affairs' city centre offices in an alleged live-streamed attack in March

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Extinction Rebellion activist Orla Murphy

Extinction Rebellion activist Orla Murphy

Extinction Rebellion activist Orla Murphy

Two Extinction Rebellion activists charged over a graffiti attack at the Department of Foreign Affairs will face a jury trial if they contest the case, a court heard.

Orla Murphy (20) and Zachary Lumley (21) were remanded on continuing bail at Dublin District Court today to decide how they intend to plead.

Up to €10,000 worth of damage was caused at the department's city centre offices in an alleged live-streamed attack in March.

Ms Murphy, of Ballinacarrig, Whitechurch, Co Cork, and Mr Lumley, an Oxford University student from South Lodge Ballinlough, Cork City, are both charged with criminal damage.

The offence is alleged to have happened at Iveagh House, at St Stephen’s Green on March 19.

Today, Garda Sergeant Zita Woods said the DPP directed summary trial in the district court on a guilty plea only.

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The graffiti being cleaned at the Department of Foreign Affairs building in Dublin. Photo: Gareth Chaney

The graffiti being cleaned at the Department of Foreign Affairs building in Dublin. Photo: Gareth Chaney

The graffiti being cleaned at the Department of Foreign Affairs building in Dublin. Photo: Gareth Chaney

This means the cases will be sent forward to the circuit court if the accused plead not guilty.

Defence solicitor Luke Staines asked for disclosure of prosecution documents. Sgt Woods said a summary of evidence had already been provided and statements would also be furnished.

Judge Walsh remanded both accused on continuing bail, to appear in court again on a date in October.

At a previous bail hearing, the court was told the accused allegedly travelled from Cork to carry out a live-streamed attack on the Department of Foreign Affairs offices.

Paint was splattered on the front of the building and graffiti saying “no more empty promises” sprayed across the entrance.

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The event was described by Extinction Rebellion as non-violent direct action. Posters were also stuck to the wall of the building.

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

The footage was played during the bail hearing.

Gardai alleged it was a premeditated and prolonged attack lasting 12 minutes.

Mr Lumley had filmed and encouraged and “egged on” his co-accused while shouting a tirade of his political views, Garda Paul Cummins told the court,

Gardai said repairs to the building had commenced and could cost up to €10,000.

The court heard Ms Murphy had been a film student but became involved in climate activism and youth groups.

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