Man charged over trespass at Leinster House in alleged bid to remove Palestinian flag

Paul Whelan (39) is granted bail but ordered to stay away from all government buildings

A man arrested for scaling the railings at Leinster House in an alleged attempt to remove the Palestinian flag has been granted bail but ordered to stay away from all government buildings.

The incident happened shortly before 6pm on Tuesday at the Merrion Square side of the complex.

Gardaí and Oireachtas security personnel observed a man climbing the fence and then trying to make his way across the Leinster House lawn to where the newly hoisted flag, marking Ireland’s official recognition of the state of Palestine, had been placed.

Paul Whelan (39), Dowland Road, Dublin 12, was arrested, charged and brought before Judge Patricia Cronin at Dublin District Court on Wednesday.


In evidence, Garda Conor Dineen said the accused “made no reply” when charged.

He is charged with burglary by trespassing with intent to commit an offence in the garden at Leinster House.

He had no objection to bail if the accused agreed to obey conditions, including a restriction on him going to all government buildings.

Defence solicitor Evan Moore took instructions from the defendant, who did not address the court. He said his client consented to the conditions.

Judge Cronin inquired whether he needed to attend any government building, and the solicitor informed the court: “He does, the social welfare office.”

However, after taking further instructions from the accused, he added that his client gets paid into his bank account, and he did not need to go there.

Judge Cronin explained she had asked that question to ensure the accused would not be in technical breach of bail.

She read out the terms and warned him to remain away from all government buildings and provide gardaí with a mobile telephone number on which they could contact him at all times.

The court heard he would be living at an address in Dublin 2, and the judge told him to notify gardaí in case of any change.

He has not yet indicated a plea and was remanded on a €200 bail bond to appear again on July 10th.

Legal aid was granted after the judge noted from the defence solicitor that the accused was on social welfare and had no assets.

Directions from the Director of Public Prosecutions must be obtained.