herald

Friday 15 December 2017

Gardai are expecting to make up to 25 further arrests

Paul Murphy (centre) with councillors Kieran Mahon (left) and Mick Murphy.
Paul Murphy (centre) with councillors Kieran Mahon (left) and Mick Murphy.

Gardai are expected to arrest up to 25 more people in the coming weeks in relation to the water charges protest in Tallaght in which Tanaiste Joan Burton (left) was trapped in her car for two hours.

Sources have revealed that "well over 20 other suspects" have been identified for potentially committing crimes such as public order offences, assault, violent disorder and theft.

The development comes after the dramatic arrest of TD Paul Murphy yesterday morning as well as councillors Kieran Mahon, Mick Murphy and Republican activist Scott Masterson.

All four were released without charge yesterday afternoon and a file on their activities in the protest on November 15 last will now be sent to the DPP.

Gardai in Tallaght had drafted in the specialist National Bureau of Criminal Investigation (NBCI).

A total of four local officers spent weeks monitoring over 280 hours of CCTV which has been collected from the Jobstown area.

It is understood that a number of suspects have been identified for a range of crimes including public order offences as well as thefts and attempted thefts of garda equipment as well as assaults which occurred during scuffles.

TEENAGERS

Among those identified already are a number of local thugs with criminal records.

Before yesterday's high-profile arrests, three other people, all teenagers from Tallaght were arrested in relation to the protest which was policed by around 70 gardai.

Among items stolen from gardai were a pair of handcuffs, an extendable baton, pepper spray and two garda hats.

In December, gardai expressed concernes that five canisters of pepper spray which were stolen from officers during the protest may have made their way to criminals after pepper spray was used in a number of shop robberies in south Dublin.

One garda suffered a broken thumb and one injured his toe. A woman protester was hospitalised for minor injuries.

Officers were allegedly spat at, verbally abused and threatened during the controversial protest and it is estimated that a total of 18 officers were assaulted during the melee and nine garda vehicles were damaged, with tyres slashed and windows broken as the protest spiralled.

kfoy@herald.ie

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