An 18-year-old man, who was found to have falsely imprisoned former tánaiste Joan Burton and her adviser in Jobstown in Tallaght three years ago, has won his appeal, after lawyers for the State said they would not be contesting the case.
A judge at the Children’s Court in 2016, ruled [Jay Lester] was entitled to make a finding of guilty in the case against the teenager, who was 15 at the time, of the protests against water charges in 2014. The judge said he would leave the young man without a criminal conviction if he was of good behaviour for nine months.
However, the man and his lawyers appealed the Children’s Court ruling to the Circuit Court.
This morning, in a brief hearing, lawyers for the State said they would not be contesting the appeal.
The trial was shown video footage from Garda Air Support at about 2.53pm that day during which a dispatcher could be heard saying the crowd was dispersing.
The dispatcher said they were making good progress and Ms Burton’s car should reach the Tallaght by-pass within 20-30 minutes. There’s no hassle really, said the dispatcher, adding that there had been a bit of pushing when the Garda Public Order Unit arrived.
The video footage, with a timestamp of 15.21, can be watched above.
Readers will note a Garda can be heard saying:
“It’s fairly dispersed. She’s making a good bit of progress. She’s only, only another 100 metres, not even 50 metres, from the Tallaght Bypass. There’s no pushing or shoving or anything. The Public Order Unit moved in there for a minute and there was a bit and they seem to have left them march ahead of their banner like.”
“The Jeep could have went backwards ages ago but [inaudible] did not want to do that. …There’s no hassle really.”
“No, no, [she’s] still not out. Could be another 20 minutes or half an hour anyway.”
Joan Burton’s being questioned again about an instruction given to her assistant Karen O’Connell while they were allegedly trapped in a Garda car at a water charges protest.
In an audio recording, Ms Burton can be heard telling her assistant she should go on social media and say it was shameful that children in the area were roaming free adn unsupervised.
Defence counsel Michael O’Higgins suggested it was a direction to an employee to use social media to smear the demonstrators, painting them as uncaring and it was a strategic move.
Ms Burton denied it was an instruction and said it was just conversation. She said her assistant was more familiar with social media than she was. She accepted that she was angry with the protesters but said she was not at her most thoughtful or strategic best.
It was put to her that all politicians knew the power of social media to get a story out. Ms Burton said she had reduced her use of it because of the vile comments directed towards female politicians in particular. She said her social media accounts now had to be read and cleaned by people before she reads them.
Labour TD and former tánaiste Joan Burton; Solidarity TD Paul Murphy and broadcaster and journalist Eamon Dunphy arrive for the trial of Mr Murphy and six other men.
The six other men are Kieran Mahon, of Bolbrook Heights, Tallaght; Michael Murphy, of Whitechurch Way, Ballyboden; Scott Masterson, of Carrigmore Drive, Tallaght; Ken Purcell, of Kiltalown Green, Tallaght; Frank Donaghty, of Alpine Rise, Tallaght; and Michael Banks, of Brookview Green, Tallaght.
The seven men are charged with falsely imprisoning Ms Burton during a water charges protest in Jobstown, Tallaght in November 2014.
On Friday, the above clip was played in the Dublin Circuit Criminal Court during the Jobstown trial.
The clip is from the day in question in Jobstown, Tallaght, Dublin on November 15, 2014.
In the video, Ms Burton is heard telling Ms O’Connell:
“Well, what you should do now is go, well, don’t really talk to Paul first, but you should just go on social media and say it was just shameful, all the little kids who were there and nobody minding them, nobody looking after them. They were just free to roam the streets.”
Last Friday, the Irish Independent reported:
Asked about the comment by Mr [Padraig] Dwyer [SC], [Joan Burton] said: it was “just chat” and there was no intention to send out a social media message.
From top: A review by NUI Galway of methods forcing lone parents to seek work introduced by former Tanaiste and Minister for Social Protection Joan Burton
Many lone parents, particularly those who had been working part-time and earning less than €90 per week – the amount a parent could earn without their one-parent payment being affected – say their income has fallen as a result of moving to Jobseeker’s Allowance.
Groups say childcare is too expensive and inadequate to allow many to seek work, while no account is taken of difficulties of parents of disabled children, those in rural areas without transport or those with little education.
Further to the trial of a 17-year-old youth, charged with the false imprisonment of former Tanaiste Joan Burton and her advisor Karen O’Connell in Jobstown, Dublin in November 2014, getting under way in the Children’s Court this morning…
RTÉ’s Legal Affairs Correspondent Orla O’Donnell reported on RTÉ’s Radio One’s News At One:
“Joan Burton told the court that being trapped in Garda vehicles on the 15th of November, 2014, was a very difficult and unpleasant situation. Ms Burton said she had received a warm welcome when she first arrived at An Cosán in Jobstown for a graduation ceremony. She said as they walked from the centre to an adjacent church, she was hit twice on the neck by some kind of water balloon and a young man was holding a camera in front of her face and saying, ‘talk to us, Joan’. She said she was anxious to continue her duties.”
“In the church, after giving her speech, she was advised to make haste to a Garda car which was going to drive her and her advisor, Karen O’Connell, away. She said there were people shouting and banging on the car, she said she was trying to keep her composure and was worried about children who were around the car.”
“She said that protesters were shouting a lot of vulgar abuse and using all the derogatory terms people use for women. Ms Burton said she was very apprehensive about what would happen to her if the crowd got the doors of the car open and she was looking around to see where she could run to. She said, after some time, they were moved to another car by gardai. They were later moved again and she said she flung herself into a Garda vehicle. She said afterwards she felt happy no children had been hurt and very happy to be safe and out of the car.”
A protest gathers ahead of the trial of a 17-year-old for ”false imprisonment’ during a sit down demonstration in Jobstown, Tallaght, Dublin in November 2014. Former Tanaiste Joan Burton is listed as a witness for the prosecution.
Cabinet ministers failed to agree on a Government position in relation to Independents 4 Change TD Mick Wallace’s proposed bill to allow for abortions in cases of fatal foetal illnesses.
A vote on the bill – which has been deemed unconstitutional by the Attorney General Maire Whelan, according to Fine Gael Health Minister Simon Harris – will take place tomorrow.
Mr Wallace has called for the Attorney General’s advice to be published and to let the courts decide where it’s unconstitutional or not.
Further to this.
This morning, on Newstalk Breakfast, presenters Ivan Yates and Chris Donoghue spoke to Labour TD Joan Burton, Independent Alliance TD Finian McGrath and Fianna Fáil TD Michael McGrath about the bill.
From the discussion…
Ivan Yates: “Joan…you were in Government and voted down Clare Daly’s bill and I remember at the time because Labour perhaps is the vanguard of Pro Choice here and a woman’s right to choose. What are you going to do next Thursday?”
Joan Burton: “Well, first of all, we have, as we had then, very serious legal advice because the bill, to a large extent, is a copy of the previous Clare Daly bill and I’ll be honest and, you know, it’s a difficult point but we have advice that the bill is unconstitutional. That’s separate from the advice that we received when we were members of the Government. We favour a referendum on the 8th amendment. And I favour the 8th amendment, with the will of the people, in a referendum being taken out of the constitution so we can then legislate constitutionally and properly. What…”
Yates: “What are you going to vote?”
Burton: “Oh we are, our parliamentary party will meet later today, we haven’t made a decision but there is a problem with Mick Wallace’s bill. Now if Finian McGrath is saying there’s a solution, can I make a suggestion then. Why not have the Oireachtas committee, the health committee meet next week and bring in a panel of both doctors and of lawyers with expertise in this area, as we did in relation to the X case…”
Chris Donoghue: “Are you saying forget the Citizens’ Assembly?”
Burton: “I think the actual expert evidence should come first and I’ve said that before the election, it’s still my view. Because, this remember is about women, a horrible, horrible dilemma, it’s about parents with a dreadful dilemma…”
Burton: “I’m not asking for you to forget the Citizens’ Assembly, I’m saying we don’t need abortion wars in Ireland. What we need is care for women who are pregnant with an extraordinarily and exceptionally difficult pregnancy. We don’t need lawyers around a woman’s bed, we actually need doctors…”
Alan Kelly, deputy leader of the Labour Party, will appear on The Late Late Show this Friday [RTÉ 1 at 9.35pm].The Tipperary TD will join Late Late host Ryan Tubridy for a wide-ranging interview about the Labour party’s disastrous general election as well as his views on Irish Water, the housing crisis and the new government. And we’ll be finding out where his own political ambitions lie now that Joan Burton has resigned as leader of the Labour Party…
We’re told that the events of Easter 1916 led to the formation of the Irish Republic. A Republic is defined as Rule By Law, but in Ireland – as we all know – protection under law, and access to justice, is not automatic and is instead dependent on status, power, influence, connection and wealth. This is the opposite of a Republic; it’s an Un-Republic….