herald

Thursday 8 December 2016

Seventeen anti-water charge protesters due for court next month

TD Paul Murphy at a press conference in Tallaght last night
TD Paul Murphy at a press conference in Tallaght last night
Jobstown meeting in Tallaght

A total of 17 anti-water charge protesters who attended a demonstration in Dublin last year are to appear in court next month to be charged in relation to a number of alleged offences.

Tanaiste Joan Burton was present at the event and was allegedly detained in a car with her assistant Karen O'Connell for almost three hours by a number of individuals.

Tallaght TD Paul Murphy is among those facing two charges related to the incident at Fortunestown Road, Jobstown, on November 15 last.

Those involved have been summoned to appear at Dublin District Court on October 29 and November 2 and could face 10 to 15 years behind bars if convicted.

Disorder

Up to 27 people were arrested following the event.

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However, just 17 of those received summonses from gardai on Monday night.

Of those, 14 relate to the alleged false imprisonment of the Labour Party leader while others are to be charged with violent disorder and criminal damage.

Two teenagers are also to appear before the courts charged with various offences relating to the incident.

One Leaving Cert student who is facing two charges of false imprisonment has said process is having a serious effect on his studies.

"It is very stressful," he told the Herald. "I am trying to get on with my work and I have this hanging over my head."

The 16-year-old added that his teachers have also expressed their concerns on how the hearing will impact on his future.

Anti-Austerity Alliance TD Paul Murphy was among those summonsed to appear before the District Court.

Kieran Mahon and Mick Murphy of the Anti-Austerity Alliance also received a summons from gardai on Monday night over their involvement in the protest in west Dublin last year.

Speaking at a press conference in Tallaght last night, Paul Murphy launched the 'Jobstown Not Guilty' campaign.

He added that a protest will take place in Dublin city centre on Saturday in a direct response to the summons.

"We are appealing to those people who feel that this is a ludicrous anti-democratic act to turn out and support us on Saturday," the TD said.

United

Mr Murphy also called on people who thought protesters had gone "a step too far" in Jobstown last year to join in Saturday's protest on Dame Street.

"This is about bringing together everybody who is facing potential charges regardless of political background, personality or place in the community. It's a united campaign of everybody."

Mr Murphy denies anybody was falsely imprisoned and said the incident was a protest rather than any form of "criminal conduct".

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