Teen called in ‘bomb threat’ to garda station from holding cell demanding release of republican prisoner
A Dublin youth telephoned a hoax bomb threat to a Garda station demanding release from a holding cell, and that a republican prisoner be let out of jail, a court heard.
The 17-year-old had been detained at Clontarf Garda station but had sneaked a phone in with him and "feigned a northern accent" when he made two 999 calls from inside a holding cell.
Judge Paul Kelly heard at Dublin Children's Court that the teen threatened to detonate one bomb at the station unless its prisoners were let out and another bomb at a shopping centre if "Whacker Duffy" was not released from Portlaoise Prison.
It caused a "bit of a panic", but a "seasoned" station sergeant was unconvinced, and a garda caught the teen using the phone in the station's holding cell was checked.
Sentencing was adjourned for a probation report.
The boy, who cannot be identified because he is a minor, was charged with knowingly making a false report or report at Clontarf Garda station.
He had initially denied the charge but entered a guilty plea when his trial was about to start, and prosecution witnesses had come to court.
Garda Keith McCarthy told Judge Kelly that the teen had been held at the station on a date last year. There were two 999 calls.
They lasted three minutes and 42 seconds, and 57 seconds.
After the initial panic, Garda command and control could establish the call was "pinging" from a phone mast in the area of Clontarf station.
The teen had "feigned a northern accent and was demanding the release of all prisoners at Clontarf Garda station. The court there were "explicit threats that a bomb would be detonated if he was not released by 2 am".
The caller also demanded that "Whacker Duffy" be released from Portlaoise Prison or another bomb would be detonated at a shopping centre.
Garda McCarthy then heard a "voice emanating from the cell" and looked through the door slit to see the accused talking into a small Nokia phone in the corner.
The court heard the duty sergeant was a seasoned hand and did not believe it was genuine, widespread panic was averted, and the station was not evacuated.
Garda McCarthy said that he had to remove the phone from the teen forcibly, and it was later analysed.
The teen is now serving a sentence for other matters. He had 39 previous convictions for theft, robbery, burglary, public order, possessing stolen property, obstructing gardai and criminal damage offences.
Judge Kelly said there was never a case like it before the Children's Court.
Defence counsel Doireann McDonagh said her client was a creative and intelligent young man doing well in the Oberstown detention centre and has completed training courses.
The judge heard he was inebriated at the time of the incident but is now remorseful.
The boy, accompanied to the hearing by his mother, did not address the court.
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