herald

Wednesday 13 December 2017

Councillor arrested at bin strike protest 'did nothing wrong'

DUBLIN city councillor Cieran Perry has insisted he was doing "nothing wrong" when arrested for protesting against bin company Greyhound.

Mr Perry was taken into custody with another man, Dave Gaughran, yesterday morning during a demonstration against the imposition of pay cuts on Greyhound workers.

The independent representative said he and about 10 others were blocking a bin lorry on Killala Road in Cabra when gardai arrived.

They were directed to leave the area.

"I asked the gardai why they were interfering with an industrial dispute," he said.

"They said they didn't have to answer that. They said they were instructing us under the Public Order Act to leave.

"We said that given this was a recognised industrial dispute, why now? They said, 'This is your last warning, move now'. Then they took me and another local resident away. They charged us and put us in a cell.

"They were more than friendly. We were there just over an hour and then they released us.

"They offered me an adult caution. I said no, because that would have entailed me admitting I had done something wrong. I didn't consider what I was doing was wrong.

complaints

"They said a file would be forwarded to the DPP and they would be in touch. I will be making an issue of it with the local inspector and the chief superintendent.

"Time and again I've had complaints garda cars aren't available,but they conveniently had a car today. What we were engaged in this morning was a peaceful protest."

A garda spokesman said: "If anyone has any issue regarding the actions of gardai they should contact the Garda Siochana Ombudsman Commission."

Protesting workers say they have been locked out by the company because they refused to use a new clocking-in system.

However, Greyhound says this is not the case, and that any employee who wished to return to work could do so.

The strikers voted overwhelmingly to sit down with management at the invitation of the Labour Relations Commission. SIPTU representatives said they hope the process will bring a "fair and just" resolution. Talks are expected to begin this afternoon.

comurphy@herald.ie

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