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Saturday 16 December 2017

Cheers in court as Jobstown charges formally dropped

Peter Herbert outside court
Peter Herbert outside court

Charges against 10 of the 11 Jobstown water charge protesters have been formally dropped.

Cheers broke out and air horns sounded in Dublin Circuit Criminal Court yesterday after Judge Melanie Greally formally discharged all but one of the remaining Jobstown accused.

Prosecution barrister Sean Gillane told the court the DPP had requested that a nolle prosequi be entered in respect of all of the charges against the remaining accused, except for one count of criminal damage against Dylan Collins.

Mr Gillane said the case against Mr Collins (22), of Bawnlea Green, Tallaght, was proceeding, but a trial date will probably not be required. Instead, he will be arraigned on November 20.

Six of the accused had been due to go on trial today, while the remaining five were due to face trial next year.

Former Tanaiste Joan Burton and her adviser Karen O'Connell had left a graduation ceremony at An Cosan Education Centre at Jobstown, south Dublin, on November 15, 2014, when protesters surrounded their car, delaying them for three hours.

In June, six men, including Solidarity TD Paul Murphy, were found not guilty by a jury of falsely imprisoning the women following a nine-week trial.

Charges against a seventh man, Ken Purcell, were dropped halfway through the trial.

Carol Purcell, Declan Kane, Glen Carney, Keith Preston, Thomas Kelly, Paul Kiernan and Peter Herbert had been charged with falsely imprisoning Ms Burton and Ms O'Connell, along with violent disorder.

Disorder

Adam Lyons had been charged with false imprisonment, along with one count of violent disorder and one count of criminal damage to a garda car windscreen.

Antoinette Kane and Calvin Carlyle had been charged with violent disorder.

As Judge Greally left court, the room erupted in cheers, with protesters sounding airhorns and chanting: "What do we want? A public inquiry. When do we want it? Now."

Outside the court, Mr Herbert, speaking on behalf of the protesters, said they would continue to demand a public inquiry into the prosecution.

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