Man who threw paint on Luke Kelly statue to be sentenced later

by Gazette Reporter
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By Sonya McLean

A man who threw blue paint on a Luke Kelly statue causing €240 worth of damage will be sentenced in October.

Michael Dunne (50) who was living in homeless accommodation at the time, pleaded guilty at Dublin Circuit Criminal Court to criminal damage on July 12, 2020. He has 51 previous convictions dating back to 1986, which included five convictions for criminal damage. 

Garda David Kelly told John Moher BL, prosecuting, that he discovered the damage to the memorial statue and harvested nearby CCTV footage which led to the identification of Dunne.

He was arrested but nothing came out of those garda interviews.

Gda Kelly agreed with Katherine McGillicuddy BL, defending, that her client offered his sincere apologies for the damage he caused.

He accepted that Dunne was a long-standing drug addict and it had not been his idea to damage the statue.

He accepted a suggestion from Ms McGillicuddy that her client was vulnerable and agreed to do this without asking any questions.  It was further accepted that Dunne got drugs as a reward for throwing the paint.

Ms McGillicuddy acknowledged that the statue was very important in the local community and that Luke Kelly is an iconic figure.

She said her client felt that his actions had caused “a lot of upset”. His sister is heavily involved in the local community and was embarrassed and ashamed when she learned of her brother’s behaviour.

Judge Orla Crowe adjourned the case to October 12 next for sentence to allow for the preparation of various reports.

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