herald

Thursday 8 December 2016

Boy (16) damaged garda car during Jobstown protest

Labour leader Joan Burton (Frank McGrath)
Labour leader Joan Burton (Frank McGrath)

A 16-year-old boy has been given a six-month sentence and become the first person to be jailed for taking part in violence at the Jobstown protest.

Tanaiste Joan Burton and her entourage were allegedly trapped in a car on November 15, 2014, at An Cosan education facility in Jobstown, in Tallaght.

An anti-Irish Water charges demonstration was held that delayed her for about two hours.

Gardai alleged protesters surrounded the car, tried to "get in at" the Labour leader and there were a number of violent incidents during which officers were pushed and missiles thrown.

The boy, now aged 16, but who was 15 at the time of the incident, appeared at the Dublin Children's Court with his mother and a grandparent.

He had pleaded guilty to criminal damage to the rear window of unmarked garda car which he jumped on, and violent disorder charges.

The court heard he had prior convictions for theft and had already served a sentence that finished in January.

Finalising his case, Judge John O'Connor imposed a six-month detention sentence on the boy who cannot be named because he is a minor.

It makes him the first person to be jailed in connection with the controversial protest that has led to more than 20 people, including TD Paul Murphy, coming before the courts.

Initially the boy, who was not politically motivated when he joined in the violence, expressed regret and in November he had shown a willingness to engage with the Probation Service.

Guilty

However, since then the boy repeatedly refused to work with the Probation Service calling it "a load of b*****ks".

He also picked up a new charge of unlawfully interfering with car in Tallaght on February 11 last.

He pleaded guilty to that as well as connected breach of the peace and possessing gloves for use in a theft.

Paul Murphy TD and 18 other people are awaiting Circuit Court trial.

They face a variety of charges, including false imprisonment, violent disorder and criminal damage.

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