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RTÉ Crime Correspondent Paul Reynolds on RTÉ’s Nine News on Wednesday

You may recall RTÉ Crime Correspondent Paul Reynolds’ report on RTÉ’s Nine News on Wednesday in which he said more than 20 people are expected to be charged in relation to the protest in Tallaght last November in which Tánaiste Joan Burton was ‘trapped’ in her car.

One of those named in the reported was Socialist Party TD Paul Murphy. Mr Murphy has since made official complaints to the offices of the DPP, the Garda Commissioner and GSOC over the leaking of the information to RTÉ.

An internal Garda investigation is now under way into this leak.

Yesterday, Garda whistleblower John Wilson told Newstalk: “The source of the leak may or may not have come from within an Garda Síochana. It could have very well have emanated from a high level from the office of the DPP.”

This is what was said in the report on Wednesday:

Eileen Dunne: “More than 20 people are expected to appear in court in the coming weeks in connection with a water charge protest in Tallaght last year in which the Tánaiste Joan Burton was trapped in her car for over two hours. RTÉ News has learned that the DPP has directed they be charged with a variety of offences. For more on this, we’re joined in studio by our crime correspondent Paul Reynolds. Paul, can you fill us in on the background first of all?”

Paul Reynolds: “Well Eileen, people will remember that last November the Tánaiste Joan Burton and her assistant were trapped in her car in Tallaght, in Jobstown for about two hours. Their car was surrounded by protesters who were chanting, banging on the car, shouting slogans. Now after that incident, the gardaí began a criminal investigation and almost 40 people were arrested, including juveniles, teenagers and three public representatives. Among those detained were the Socialist Party TD Paul Murphy and two anti-austerity councillors, Kieran Mahon and Mick Murphy. After they are released, they held a press conference outside Terenure Garda Station at which they said, they accused the gardaí, and the Government, of political policing and they said that they were confident that a jury would find them not guilty of any charge, particularly of a charge of false imprisonment. However, the garda investigation continued and a number of other people were arrested.”

Dunne: “So what has the DPP now directed?”

Reynolds: “Well, in total, 40 people were arrested and the gardaí sent a number of files to the DPP in relation to around 30 people, my understanding is 30 files were sent to the DPP for consideration. Now, we have learned tonight that the DPP Claire Loftus has directed that around 20 people, more than 20 people, are to face charges in connection with the incident. Now these charges include allegations of false imprisonment, violent disorder, criminal damage and offences under the Public Order Act. Now, some of those people are due to be charged with some offences but others, I understand, will face multiple charges.

Dunne: “Now I understand that any trial will take place in the circuit court as opposed to the district court. What’s the significance of this?”

Reynolds: “Yeah there had been some public commentary in relation to this because the DPP hadn’t come back within six months of the incident that people may not be charged at all because it would have been statute barred but that only applies to the district court. Charges have to be brought within six months if somebody is to appear before the district court but this doesn’t apply in the circuit court. So the directions have come back and these people, who are to be charged, will face trial on indictment which is before the circuit court. Now the circuit court is different because in the district court, you appear only before a judge, there’s no jury but in the circuit court you may appear not only before  a judge but also before a jury and are entitled to trial before jury. However the penalties, at Circuit Court level, are more severe. Now the gardaí must implement the DPP’s directions so in the next few weeks people may either be arrested  and brought to the courts, they may be arrested and brought to a station to be charged and then given station bail to appear before  a court at a later date or they may be summonsed to appear in court.”

Watch back here

Gardaí launch investigation into how plans to arrest water charge protesters were leaked (Newstalk)

Garda investigation into RTÉ revelations on Burton protest charges (RTE)

21 thoughts on “Iffy Leaks

  1. Supercrazyprices

    Reynolds was very annoyed with Ireland over suspecting the Garda of spying on GSOC. Very annoyed. We were very bold to suspect his friends.

  2. phil

    The establishment cant have it all their own way, there may be cases to answer from Murphy and his supporters that day, but the leaks need to be properly investigated and also Garda operating procedure. I was told by someone who was in that building that day, who in my opinion has no axe to grind either way , that the organizers and a snr Garda asked the minister to leave by a back door , but she refused it seems petulantly stating something about her rights as a citizen to leave by whatever door she wishes. She is correct of course but it may have been wiser not to undermine the Gardai’s analysis of situation. To me the whole sorry event looked to be handled very unprofessionally by the Gardai, and if what I heard above is true , it seems their hands were tied…

    1. Clampers Outside!

      She could have moved on with all those Gardaí about. Funny how they can push and shove protesters when no one is being detained, but in this instance they just stood by.

      I’d like to know why…..

  3. Unreconstructed

    A politicised police force/judicial system, engaging in selected leaks of information, withholding certain prosecutions, expediting others. If people could see beyond the puerile jibes at Murphy & Co. (I am not a fan of his) they might find the behaviour of the Gardai/DPP troubling for a democracy.

    1. Supercrazyprices

      “withholding certain prosecutions”

      The DPP do this all the time. And I suspect that many of these decisions happen over a brandy after dinner in houses all across Dublin 4.

      Ireland is not a functioning democracy.

  4. ollie

    Easy to investigate the leaks. Ask Paul Reylonds who provides him with confidential information on a daily basis!

  5. Sniffin

    Oooh garda sources giving information to journalists… how shocking, how scandalous. Politicians saying things off the record, confidential sources, etc etc. That’s how it works and long may it continue.

    1. ivan

      There is no way in which the public interest is served by Gardai briefing journalists about particular persons being charged before the accused is informed.

    2. Supercrazyprices

      Yeah fine if it includes information on high profile civil servants involved in drug smuggling, human trafficking, rape, murder, embezzlement.

  6. Shane

    Lost my respect for Paul Reynolds in the aftermath of Martin Callinan’s ‘disgusting’ remarks. I thought Reynolds offered a far too sympathetic spin on Callinan’s comments on RTE shortly afterwards

    1. jungleman

      I remember mick Wallace held a press conference following shatter’s appearance on the frontline and Reynolds seemed to just have a go at discrediting everything he had to say rather than asking him any bona fide questions.

  7. fred

    At it’s core, the protest was a sit-down/slow march protest. Does this mean that all forms of protest that involve delaying a person for any significant period of time will now be considered criminal? It’s been pointed out that the IFA had a similar protest that week. Will their leaders be rounded up in dawn raids?

  8. Walter-Ego

    Can somebody copy this clip, quickly before it gets lost due to a (ahem) RTE technical glitch.

  9. NotTheBogeyMan

    The guards leak info to Reynolds every day of the week.
    His reports follow the monotone matter of fact formula every time…..
    ‘A 43 year old irish national wearing a red jumper was arrested at approximately 7am outside his 3 bedroom semi-d in Lucan while about to get into his 2005 registered ford focus…. mmmmkay’

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