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Suspended jail terms for anti-water meter protesters

Three Dublin water protesters have been given suspended prison sentences for breaching a High Court order and are also liable for costs in the case.

Paul Moore of Mount Olive Grove in Kilbarrack; Damien O'Neill of Greenwood Park in Coolock; and Terence Sheridan of Kilbarron Park in Kilmore West, had previously been ordered not to go within 20 metres of contractors installing water meters and not to interfere with the entrance and exit of the installation company's vehicles.

However, the High Court found that all three had breached the order and committed each man to prison for 28 days. All sentences were suspended for six months, providing they abide by the order made on November 5.

INJUCTION

GMC Sierra Ltd, which had a contract to install meters, had already secured injunctions preventing a number of individuals or anyone who had notice of the order from assaulting, intimidating or interfering with workers installing the meters.

The company secured the orders after its lawyers told the High Court that its workers had been harassed and threatened while installing meters in the Dublin 5 and Dublin 13.

GMC Sierra last week moved contempt of court proceedings against four protesters on grounds that they allegedly breached the '20-metre order' in Dublin 7 and Dublin 13.

Jim O'Callaghan SC, for GMC Sierra, said breaches of the orders had continued and read into the record portions of an affidavit by an operations manager for the company.

It stated that in the days and weeks following November 5, GMC Sierra had planned to install 500 water meters in areas around Dublin but only 200 were installed.

A worker was allegedly struck by a van, a known protester 'kneed a worker in the face' and protesters breached the 20-metre safety zone, the affidavit alleged. It was not alleged that any of the three men had engaged in this violence.

hnews@herald.ie