Sunday 23 October 2016

Protesters in Halloween masks blocked TD's car

Water protester Quinten Radford blocked traffic
Water protester Quinten Radford blocked traffic

A group of water protesters wearing Halloween masks blocked a Labour TD from moving his car after he held a constituency clinic.

The three, Quinten Radford (45), Stephen Ward (44) and Christopher Faulkner (19), were protesting against water charges as well as austerity measures, which, they believed, had been introduced by the Labour Party.

The men brought traffic to a standstill in Rush and caused tailbacks into Lusk village of up to a kilometre-and-a-half.

Labour TD Brendan Ryan was stuck in his car until senior gardai arrived and cleared the protesters from the road.

Swords District Court heard there were up to 15 protesters carrying placards and wearing Halloween masks.

Judge Dermot Dempsey ordered the men to complete 240 hours of community service.

Radford, of Marigold Road in Darndale, and Ward, of Fassaugh Road in Cabra, admitted to wilfully preventing the movement of traffic at Main Street in Rush on October 29, 2015.

Faulkner, of Rowan Heights in Drogheda, was found guilty of failing to follow directions of gardai, wilfully preventing the movement of traffic and refusing to provide his name and address to officers.


Sergeant Patrick Whelan said Brendan Ryan TD had held his weekly constituency ­clinic in Rush and was leaving the ­community centre around 7.30pm when his car was blocked by a number of water protesters.

Sgt Whelan said some protesters stood in front of Deputy Ryan's car, walking over and back the road, preventing him from moving his car.

Sgt Whelan said the protest brought traffic to a standstill.

In relation to Radford, lawyer Karl Monahan said the father-of-four is a machine maintenance operative.

He said that Ward is married with three children. He is currently unemployed.

Mr Monahan said both men's purpose for being in Rush was to protest at what they saw as the Labour Party's involvement in austerity measures, including the introduction of water charges and the rise in home evictions.

In relation to Faulkner, Sergeant Sean Pender said he directed him to leave the area and provide his name and address to gardai, but he failed to do so.

In his evidence, Faulkner denied gardai asked for his details, and claimed he was grabbed from behind and arrested.

He also claimed he is "very passionate", has a "strong social conscience", and was engaging in "peaceful assembly" on the footpath to protest against the Labour Party's austerity measures.

Finding him guilty, Judge Dempsey said he was satisfied Faulkner had blocked traffic.

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