Protester who avoided jail is back on the streets - this time on other side of the city
A MAN who faced jail for breaching a court order to stay 20 metres away from the installation of water meters, was back protesting yesterday.
Michael Batty (67) from Edenmore, Raheny, attended two demonstrations on the other side of the city, but insisted he stayed well back from the Irish Water workers present.
Mr Batty was in Tenerife for health reasons and missed the court hearing where fellow protesters were sent to prison.
Bernie Hughes of McKelvey Park, Finglas, Damien O'Neill of Greenwood Park, Coolock, Paul Moore of Mount Olive Grove, Kilbarrack and Derek Byrne of Streamville Road, Donaghmede were all jailed for contempt.
Earlier this month a judge ordered that all four be released after upholding a challenge to the legality of a warrant granting their detention.
Mr Batty avoided jail when he returned home, apologising in court and promising not to interfere with meter installers.
He attended two protests yesterday - one on Brown Street and the other in Kimmage.
Last night he told the Herald that he complied with the promise he made to stay away for the installation of meters saying: "there was no work going on anyway.
"There were no incidents. There was no blocking and we just stood there peacefully.
"There were a few guards present but nothing was going on", he added.
Other protesters gathered at nearby Donore Avenue were wearing scarves hiding their faces.
Asked about protesters concealing their faces Mr Batty said "I don't believe in that kind of thing.
"I can most certainly understand the people hiding faces, but I have never wore a mask and I never will ... I've got nothing to hide, I'm not breaking any law."
An Irish Water spokesperson said metering has not been postponed in neighbourhoods that saw protests yesterday.