Thursday 23 November 2017

TD Paul Murphy among 27 to face charges over Burton incident

Anti-Austerity Alliance TD Paul Murphy
Anti-Austerity Alliance TD Paul Murphy

Socialist TD Paul Murphy has admitted he is "seriously concerned" he might go to jail, after it was reported he will face two counts of false imprisonment.

The Dublin TD and 26 others, including two Anti-Austerity Alliance (AAA) councillors Kieran Mahon and Mick Murphy, will reportedly face charges over an incident in Jobstown last year which saw Tanaiste Joan Burton and her advisor trapped in a car.

Of the group - which is comprised of men, women and juveniles - 13 are set to be charged with false imprisonment, 14 with violent disorder and four with criminal damage, according to RTE.

Mr Murphy and 12 others are accused of falsely imprisoning Joan Burton and her advisor Karen O'Connell on November 14, 2014.

The women were attending a graduation ceremony in Jobstown.

When they attempted to leave the area, their car was surrounded by anti-water charges protester.

The TD said he was notified of this development just minutes before last night's Six One broadcast on RTE by a journalist, and he personally has had no contact from the gardai.

He claimed this was "another disgraceful leak from the gardai", similar to one a month ago about the impending criminal charges.

"This is a disgraceful way to treat people who are now facing serious criminal charges," Mr Murphy said.

"I understand there is a garda investigation ongoing into the first leak. And I have contacted those gardai to complain about this leak, and to request that an investigation also happens into this leak."

He denied that Ms Burton, who was attending a graduation ceremony on the day, was falsely imprisoned.

"What we did on the day was sit down and engage in a slow march and that delayed Joan Burton's car. And that in my opinion is not false imprisonment."

"I am - presumably like the 26 other people - yes, seriously concerned," he said last night.

AAA Councillor Kieran Mahon is also facing charges of false imprisonment and he branded them as "trumped up".

"Collectively as a group we have been taking legal advice and we intend to fight this all the way," he said.

It is understood that the summonses will be issued next week.

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