Date fixed | 

Gemma O'Doherty's appeal against public order convictions to be heard in October

The former journalist was given a suspended sentence and fined over the incident during which she called gardaí "gangsters" and claimed they "covered up murder"
Gemma O'Doherty pictured at Bray District Court before her previous appearance. Photo: Gerry Mooney

Gemma O'Doherty pictured at Bray District Court before her previous appearance. Photo: Gerry Mooney

Robin SchillerIndependent.ie

Gemma O'Doherty's appeal against her public order convictions that include abusing gardaí will be heard later this year.

The former journalist was given a suspended sentence and fined over the 2020 incident in Wicklow during which she called gardaí "gangsters" and claimed they "covered up murder".

She was convicted following a hearing at Bray District Court last September and subsequently lodged an appeal.

The matter came before Wicklow Circuit Court today in order to fix a date for the appeal hearing.

Judge Patrick Quinn was told that the case lasted from 10am until 7pm in the evening and that no evidence was called by the defence.

The court was informed that it is the defence's intention to call evidence for the appeal hearing.

Judge Quinn said it will "take as long as it takes" and listed the matter for hearing in October, adding: "I will sit at 10am and see how we get on".

O'Doherty was not present herself for the brief hearing at Bray courthouse this morning but was legally represented.

She is appealing her conviction for public order offences which occurred on a footbridge in Kilmacanogue, Wicklow, on August 28, 2020.

The anti-lockdown campaigner was handed a two-month suspended sentence and fined €750, having been convicted of using threatening behaviour, refusing to give her name and address, as well as resisting arrest.

She and a number of her supporters were hanging banners on the bridge when the incident occurred.

Last year her case at the district court heard that she called gardaí "gangsters", "thugs", "traitors", and told them they "covered up" paedophilia and murder.

The words used by O'Doherty were described as "atrocious" by the sentencing judge David Kennedy.

Her solicitor, Brendan Maloney, argued that she was not lawfully arrested under the correct section of the public order act.

He also submitted that gardaí should have explained the consequences of not giving her name and address, and that her holding a railing did not constitute resisting arrest.

This was rejected by the presiding judge who said that O'Doherty walked away from the garda while he was speaking and didn't allow him to finish.

"Clearly he wasn't given the opportunity and she wouldn't have listened anyway," Judge Kennedy said.

"She was in a mind not to give out her name and address. She wasn’t happy about being arrested.

“She did grab something to prevent being removed, which constitutes resistance," he added.

The appeal hearing is due to take place on Monday, October 17.


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