Man who admitted ‘intimidating’ Michael Healy-Rae ‘never wants to attend a political protest again’

Dean Hickson threw a bottle at the Kerry Independent TD at an antigovernment demonstration outside Leinster House last year

A protester who admitted “intimidating” Kerry TD Michael Healy-Rae by throwing a bottle at the politician and blocking him at Leinster House has been given a chance to take part in a restorative justice programme.

Dublin District Court heard on Thursday that the “distressing” incident took place when an antigovernment and immigration demonstration “spiralled out of control” on September 20th last.

Apprentice carpenter Dean Hickson (22) of Griffith Parade, Finglas East, Dublin, appeared again before Judge Paula Murphy, who heard that Hickson never wanted to attend a political rally again.

About 200 people had held a protest outside Government buildings as the Dáil resumed following the summer recess. It led to several arrests, and afterwards, the independent TD condemned the conduct of some protesters as he and an office intern attempted to leave the area.


At one point, the CCTV footage captured Hickson “throwing a plastic bottle in the direction of Mr Healy-Rae, narrowly missing his head”.

Garda Chloe Rochfort, who investigated the case, told Judge Murphy that Mr Healy-Rae, who was not present for the hearing or required to testify, did not wish to provide a victim impact statement.

Hickson had pleaded guilty to intimidating Michael Healy-Rae at Kildare Street, Dublin 2 on September 20th, and the court heard he wished to say sorry to the victim.

In mitigation, his defence solicitor Donal Quigley said Hickson, who has no prior criminal convictions, was attending a political protest. “He said he has never been to one before and says he will never be to one again in his life.”

The solicitor told the court: “Things spiralled out of control. It was more aggressive than he thought it would be. He is not even that politically minded.”

He added that his client had been forthright and apologised when brought into a Garda station.

Judge Murphy said the incident was very distressing for all concerned and a very serious offence for a man with no criminal record.

She ordered the Probation Service to prepare a restorative justice report, and she will consider how she will deal with the case.

Hickson, who did not address the court, was remanded on continuing bail to appear again in September for sentencing.