Woman accused of spraying garda with chemical substance remanded in custody

Tom Tuite

A woman accused of spraying an unknown chemical substance to "temporarily blind" a Dublin garda has been further remanded in custody pending possible extra charges.

Frances Harrison (31), with an address at College Hill, Terenure, Dublin, was charged with assaulting the officer at Basin Street flats in the south inner city during the incident on the night of September 21st.

She is also accused of a connected offence of being a passenger in a stolen rental GoCar car on the same date.

She was held in custody following her unsuccessful bail application at Dublin District Court on Saturday.

The accused faced her second court appearance on Wednesday when Judge Treasa Kelly noted that potential further charges were pending.

Ms Harrison's solicitor, Eddie O'Connor, said her client consented to a four-week adjournment. Judge Kelly remanded her in continuing custody to appear again on October 25th for directions from the Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP).


Earlier, Garda Sergeant Hugh O'Carroll alleged the incident happened at 9.45pm after GoCar notified gardaí that a tracking device had been removed from one of their cars.

Two gardaí observed it at Basin Street flats "driven at speed with no lights" and the tracking device was on the side of the road.

The sergeant alleged the accused was identified at the scene by the officers and from mobile phone footage circulated on social media.

The sergeant said there was also CCTV footage from the area. He alleged she had been a passenger in the car before it stopped.

The sergeant said the two officers were trying to arrest the driver when the accused allegedly "sprayed an unknown chemical substance".

The court heard both gardaí were injured, one "temporarily blind" after the chemical was sprayed into his eyes.

He must go to a follow-up appointment with an eye specialist.

The contested bail hearing was told, "a number of locals came out to intimidate gardaí", and the driver escaped. More gardaí arrived after an urgent call for assistance.

The sergeant accepted that she had not rented the vehicle and did not drive the car.

The defence said Ms Harrison, who has been allowed free legal aid, maintains her innocence and "says she had obviously nothing to do with it, that there were other people there, and it was not her involved in this incident".

Gardaí are to recommend to the DPP that the case should be dealt with on indictment at a higher level with greater sentencing powers.