herald

Tuesday 12 December 2017

Five more men arrested in probe into Joan Burton anti-water charge protest

Protesters pictured at Tallaght Garda station
Protesters pictured at Tallaght Garda station
Tallaght garda station protest

FIVE males were arrested this morning in relation to the ongoing investigation into the anti-water charge protest in Jobstown last November.

Three adults and two juveniles were being questioned at Crumlin, Rathfarnham and Tallaght Garda Stations.

The arrests bring to 17 the number of people detained in relation to the investigation so far. The incident saw Tanaiste Joan Burton trapped in her car for more than two hours.

Four men were arrested yesterday; two men, a youth and a woman were arrested on Tuesday morning; and four men including Anti-Austerity Alliance TD Paul Murphy, councillors Mick Murphy and Kieran Mahon and Republican activist Scott Masterson were the first to be arrested in the operation on Monday.

Those detained over the past three days were later released without charge, with files being prepared for the Director of Public Prosecutions.

The five arrested this morning can be held for up to 24 hours.

Mr Murphy reacted to this morning’s arrests by posting a message on Twitter.

“This is extremely serious,” he wrote.

Anti-water charge groups are due to stage a protest over the arrests at the Department of Justice at 6.30pm today.

Meanwhile, the teenager who allegedly threw a brick at a garda van during anti-water charge protests had nothing to say after his release from garda custody.

Dylan Collins (19) was arrested yesterday by gardai investigating the protest in Jobstown.

Mr Collins refused to comment when approached outside his home minutes after he had been released from Tallaght Garda Station.

“I’m not giving any statement,” he said.

The Herald can also reveal that Ms Burton will be the key witness in court prosecutions that the DPP could bring against a number of protesters.

The Tanaiste made a detailed statement to gardai five days after the Jobstown protest.

She met with gardai for more than an hour on November 20 and “gave her version of events as they unfolded”, according to her spokesman at the time.

Sources said that if Mr Murphy is charged with Ms Burton’s false imprisonment, her evidence would be “absolutely vital in a court of law”.

kfoy@herald.ie

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