herald

Tuesday 12 December 2017

Councillors locked in by angry Fingal demo

Protest at the gates of the Fingal County Council car park in Swords
Protest at the gates of the Fingal County Council car park in Swords

ANTI-water charge protesters last night blocked north Dublin councillors from going home after a council meeting.

A group of 14 protesters assembled at the gates of the Fingal County Council car park in Swords preventing elected representatives from leaving.

Gardai were called to the scene and were last night monitoring the incident.

Mulhuddart councillor David McGuinness expressed his anger at being blocked from leaving. He took pictures of the incident and posted them on Twitter.

shouting

"We are here since 8 o'clock. They are refusing to let people out of the place," he told the Herald more than an hour after the protest started.

"By now some of the councillors have joined in. They are walking up and down and shouting chants," he said.

"I said I want to get home to see my two-and-a-half-year-old son before he goes to bed and they said no one's leaving," the Fianna Fail councillor said.

Sinn Fein councillor Paul Donnelly took to social media to say he was joining with the protesters at the gate.

"Standing with them now. All Cllrs and officials locked in," he tweeted at about 8.30pm.

Cllr Sandra Martin of the Anti Austerity Alliance (AAA) said that the demonstration was a "peaceful protest" and said that Council staff have been allowed leave.

The councillors were allowed leave at around 9.35pm after over an hour-and-a-half.

Elsewhere, last night's meeting of South Dublin County Council saw AAA councillors Nicky Coules, Gino Kenny and Ruth Nolan walk out.

They said they were taking the action "in solidarity" with Socialist TD Paul Murphy and the three other men who were arrested in relation to a water protest in Jobstown in November where Tanaiste Joan Burton prevented from leaving in her car for more than two hours.

hnews@herald.ie

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