herald

Monday 18 December 2017

Gardai are expecting to make up to 25 further arrests

Four more people have been arrested in the investigation into the anti-water charge protests in which Tanaiste Joan Burton was trapped in her car for two hours.

Two men and a woman, aged in their late 20s and early 30s, and a 16-year-old were picked up this morning and are being questioned at Tallaght and Rathfarnham garda stations under Section 4 of the Criminal Justice Act.

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 are expected to make more arrests in the coming weeks in relation to the water charges protest in Tallaght that was held on November 15 last.

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.

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

TEENAGERS

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

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

Officers were allegedly spat at, verbally abused and threatened during the controversial protest.

It is estimated by gardai 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 out of control.

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

In December, gardai expressed concerns 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.

hnews@herald.ie

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