| 11.4°C Dublin

'Unacceptable' Mum-of-four arrested after making remarks about 'Muslims and blacks' during protest, court hears

We have a long history in this country of permitting lawful protest, she should have gone around the other way and joined in the protest if she so wanted,” the judge said

Close

Siobhan Rice (49). Picture: Collins

Siobhan Rice (49). Picture: Collins

Siobhan Rice (49). Picture: Collins

A mother-of-four with “strong opinions” was arrested after making remarks about “Muslims, blacks and immigrants” when gardaí closed an access route to a central Dublin protest.

Siobhan Rice (49) believed these groups were being allowed make their way to the demonstration and refused to accept that the road was shut to “everybody”.

Her defence said she was a “nice lady with strong views” but Judge Michael Walsh said her remarks on the day were “quite unacceptable” and “would not be tolerated in any civilised society”.

He adjourned the case and said he would leave her without a criminal record if she made a €300 charity donation.

Rice, from Slade Castle Avenue, Saggart, Co Dublin, pleaded guilty to threatening, abusive and insulting behaviour and failing to comply with Garda directions.

Garda Sergeant Dave Kelly told Dublin District Court the incident happened at York Street in the city centre last February 27, at 1.35pm.

Gardaí on duty saw the accused walking toward St Stephen’s Green and when she approached they told her the road was closed because of a protest.

Rice became abusive to the gardaí when told about the road closure, refused to accept this and leave the area as directed under the Public Order Act, and was arrested, Sgt Kelly said.

The accused was a “very nice lady” with “strong views on the issues in hand”, her barrister said.

“I don’t think she was particularly abusive, she had views with regard to some immigrants and articulated those views,” he said.

There was “a bit of frustration” but she was not abusive, he said. The accused was a “polite lady” and regretted this event happening.

Rice was a homemaker and her means were quite modest, the barrister said.

Sunday World Newsletter

Sign up for the latest news and updates

This field is required This field is required

Judge Walsh asked for more information about the nature of the threatening, abusive and insulting words.

“She stated that Muslims and blacks were allowed to get access,” Sgt Kelly said.

“She was told the road was closed to everybody and refused to accept this.”

The court heard she might have had some connection to the protest.

Her barrister said Rice's mode of expression was quite peaceful.

“She does have strong opinions on certain issues but she is not an impolite lady and would not wish to act contrary to the law,” he said.

“We have a long history in this country of permitting lawful protest, she should have gone around the other way and joined in the protest if she so wanted,” the judge said.

“Her remarks in relation to other nationalities were quite unacceptable and would not be tolerated in any civilised society.”

Adjourning the case to a date in June, he said he would leave her without convictions if she made a €300 donation to Crumlin Children’s Hospital.

Download the Sunday World app

Now download the free app for all the latest Sunday World News, Crime, Irish Showbiz and Sport. Available on Apple and Android devices


Top Videos





Privacy