The Russian embassy on Orwell Road in Dublin. Photograph: Alan Betson

Tom Tuite

Tue Jan 24 2023 – 14:05

A man has pleaded not guilty to sending Facebook messages threatening that the Russian embassy in Dublin would be “burned down”.

Brian Murphy (53), of The Heights, Newcastle Manor, Newcastle, Dublin, is charged with offences under the Harassment, Harmful Communications and Related Offences Act. He faces four counts of sending threatening or grossly offensive communications via Facebook with intent to cause harm to the staff of the embassy on Orwell Road in Rathgar last March.

Defence counsel John Griffin told Judge Smyth that the defendant, who is currently on bail, would contest the case.

Judge Smyth remanded Mr Murphy to appear again next month when the court will allocate a hearing date.

At a previous procedural hearing in November, Garda Austin Larkin told the court he arrested Mr Murphy after a warrant was issued in October. Garda Larkin had alleged the messages were sent on four dates between March 4th and 16th last.

He alleged the defendant sent messages to the embassy’s Facebook account “threatening staff in relation to the invasion of Ukraine”.

The court heard they “made reference to the British embassy being burned down”, which occurred in 1972, and warned that “the same would happen to the Russian embassy, and its staff would not be safe in the State”.

Judge Smyth has ordered the accused to have no contact, directly or indirectly, with the embassy staff, including by electronic means.

The Irish Times

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