Tag Archives: Joan Burton

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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)

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Paul Murphy TD (on ground second right) at a sit down protest during a visit to  Jobstown, Tallaght by Tanaiste Joan Burton last year.

Further to the decision by the Director of Public Prosecutions to charge over 20 austerity protestors for ‘falsely imprisoning’ the Tanaiste Joan Burton and an aide.

Paul Murphy TD, who may be among those charged following a dawn arrest earlier this year, writes:

The news that over 20 people will be charged with serious criminal offences in relation to the protest in Jobstown is shocking. Reports indicate that a number, including of people, including me, will be charged with false imprisonment – a charge that carries a maximum sentence of life in prison. This is an extremely serious attack on the right to protest.

People from Jobstown, who participated in a protest which delayed the Tanaiste for about two and a half hours are now facing the potential of going to prison. How many people does Joan Burton feel should be imprisoned because she was delayed for a couple of hours?

The question has to be asked about why this information was leaked to the media, via a crime correspondent [RTÉ’s Paul Reynolds], before people themselves were told they would be charged. Just as no Garda was in touch with me to question me before my arrest, nobody has been in touch suggesting that we would be charged, or charging us.

This will be a major political trial initiated on foot of political policing. It will be a trial of over 20 people for having the temerity to protest, including delay the Tanaiste, who is responsible for vicious attacks on working class people, including most recently the cuts to lone parents.

If the Labour Party thinks protesters facing potential prison sentences is going to in some way redeem itself in advance of the next election, it will be sorely mistaken. This may only add to the dramatic rejection that Labour will receive, particularly in working class communities like Jobstown, where people now have a deep feeling of betrayal.

The context to this move is clear – one of absolute crisis for Irish Water and the government. 57% of people have refused to pay the water charges, Irish Water has failed the Eurostat test and the government is reeling from this rejection of its water charges. This new attempt to criminalise protest and intimidate people from protesting will not work. It will inspire more to come out for the next national Right2Water protest at 2pm in Dublin on Saturday August 29.

FIGHT!

Paul Murphy (Facebook)

Over 20 to be charged over Burton incident (RTÉ’s Nine O’Clock News)

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Tánaiste and Labour leader Joan Burton in the Dáil this lunchtime

“The Order of Business shall be as follows. Number 33: Environment Miscellaneous Provisions Bill 2014  report and final stages resumed… It’s proposed, notwithstanding anything in Standing Orders that 1) the Dáil shall sit later than 5.30pm tonight and shall adjourn on the conclusion of Topical Issues which  will take place not later than 9pm tonight. 2) The sitting shall be suspended on 2.30pm today for 30 minutes. 3) The proceedings on the resumed report and final stages of number 33 shall, if not previously concluded, be brought to a conclusion at 9pm tonight by one question which will be put from the chair and which shall be in relation to amendments include only those set down or accepted by the Minister for the Environment, Community and Local Government.”

Tánaiste and Labour leader Joan Burton imposing a guillotine on the  Environment Miscellaneous Provisions Bill 2014 Dáil this afternoon.

This effectively means Ms Burton has imposed a vote at 9pm – on the bill – thus ending further debate on the bill.

In response, Sinn Féin’s Mary Lou McDonald said:

This Environmental Miscellaneous Provisions Bill originally, in its original incarnation was to deal with such matters as dog breeding, dog licences and Killarney National Park. Now, I think you’re going to have to have a fairly flexible interpretation of the law to explain how a piece of legislation like that is used as a vehicle to do things like: force landlords to tell Irish Water who’s renting a property; make it compulsory the charges be paid before a sale of a house, include in all tenancy agreements obligation to pay the Irish Water tax and to ensure that local authorities will be enforcers of this tax. That’s a bit of a stretch, I think, by any standard.”

“And this is just the latest episode in which you demonstrate, not alone contempt for the Dáil. We could probably stomach that but utter contempt for the citizens outside this Dáil and the citizens that we serve. Utter contempt. We have raised with you, and I raised with you, Tánaiste, many, many months ago and asked you to show your hand in terms of the penalties that you were cooking up for people who weren’t in a position, or who just would not pay your unfair water charges. You avoided that issue like the plague and then you store it up until now and you put some of it in with legislation dealing with dog breeding, dog licences and Killarney National Park and all in an effort to ramroad, ramrod this legislation through just before the summer in the vain hope that you’ll get away with it, that people will be distracted, that they’ll go off on their holliers and forget all about it. I think you’re very wrong if that is your assessment.”

“Finally, Ceann Comhairle, on a matter of good parliamentary practice, even if we were to accept that this dog breeding, dog licence, Killarney legislation was the appropriate mechanism, you’re deliberately, you deliberately, you’re not even affording the basic right of scrutiny of the amendments, you’re guillotining the bill and you’re doing it in a cynical fashion.”

Related: Water Services Bill goes to Seanad after Govt ‘guillotines’ debate in Dáil (Irish Examiner, December 18, 2014)

Previously: ‘We Don’t Know What We’re Supposed To Be Amending’

‘That’s A Matter For The Landlord’

Thanks Anne-Marie McNally

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Labour leader Joan Burton taking a selfie after she cast her votes in Cabra on May 22

Newstalk reports:

“The Tánaiste Joan Burton has confirmed the issue of abortion will be part of the Labour Party manifesto for the next general election. Labour says it wants to see a vote on whether or not to repeal the 8th Amendment, which gives equal rights in the Constitution to the mother and her unborn child.”

The report followed an interview Ms Burton did with Shane Coleman, stepping in for Pat Kenny, on Newstalk this morning.

At one point, Mr Coleman asked Ms Burton if the Labour Party is pro-choice.

Shane Coleman: Are you a pro-choice party?”

Joan Burton: “I would say that what we have now is an agreement that, as a party, we should seek to repeal the 8th amendment. But in the Labour Party, we have a whole range…”

Coleman: “You’re stopping short of describing the Labour Party as a pro-choice party.”

Burton: “Well in the Labour Party we’ve a whole range of views. We’ve people of very deep religious faiths, we have people who are agnostic. We have people who are atheist. We reflect the kaleidoscope, if you like, and the rainbow colour that’s the Irish nation. The Labour Party very much reflects that and what we have to do is we have to spend more time looking at, if we do repeal the 8th amendment, then what structure replaces it.”

Right so.

Burton confirms abortion referendum will be part of Labour manifesto (Newstalk)

Sasko Lazarov/Photocall Ireland

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This afternoon.

Merrion Hotel, Dublin

Labour Party leader Joan Burton launches her #talktoJoan campaign, which encourages people to get online and talk to the Tanaiste “about their vision of what Ireland’s social and economic recovery should look like”  ahead of the next General Election.

#Fight!

(Leah Farrell/Photocall Ireland)

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The twist?

Joan does all the talking.

From left: (Back) Labour Party Member Grace Willams, Minister For Public Expenditure Brendan Howlin, Labour Party Member Cait Nic Amhcaoibh. From left (front):  Labour Party Member Jim Butler, Joan Burton and Labour Party Minister for Business & Employment Ged Nash.

Update:

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Ah here.

Via James Kelleher

Alternatively…

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Independent TD Catherine Murphy, top, and Tánaiste Joan Burton in Dáil this morning

This morning, during Order of Business in the Dáil, Kildare North Independent TD Catherine Murphy told Tánaiste and Labour leader Joan Burton that she is experiencing major delays in receiving replys to Freedom of Information requests that she has sent to the Department of Finance.

She also said she received one FOI response two weeks after a newspaper obtained the exact same FOI response – even though they were due to receive them at the same time.

Catherine Murphy: “The programme for Government included a commitment to introduce new Freedom of Information legislation, which it did, and my understanding is that it also, it also allows for a review of that legislation. Tánaiste, I have put in Freedom of Information requests into the Department of Finance and I’ve got to say that I’m really unhappy with the way the legislation is playing out.”

I was due to have responses about the same time as responses to the same questions were given to a journalist. Two weeks later, I got them, the exact same pieces of Freedom of Information. I’ve other material that I’m waiting, that’s overdue by weeks. I’ve gone through the appropriate channels, making the complaints and they’re not being provided to me. I’m not being given an explanation. And I’ve got to say it’s completely unsatisfactory.”

“Will you consider strengthening the legislation, if it’s found not to be working and if there is evidence that this is not working, at an earlier date, will you bring in a review before the term of this government is concluded, thank you.”

Joan Burton: “Well, we’ve just very significantly strengthened and expanded and restored the remit of the Freedom of Information Act and, certainly, I’m not aware of the details of what you’re complaining about – I will certainly refer that to the Minister for Finance for comment and reply to you. But what I think is also important and what this government has, as a policy, is to have a more open information society whereby, rather than having people request information, solely through the Freedom of Information Act, that as much information as possible is actually published. I don’t know about the specific incident you’re referring to, Deputy. So, as I say, I’ll refer it to the Minister for Finance for further comment and reply to you.”

Previously: Redactulous

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Yesterday.

Expensive phone selfie-ness outside the Royal Hibernian Academy, Dublin.

Mark writes:

The launch of the Labour Party’s #MakeItHappen campaign aimed at encouraging supporters of the referendum to take practical steps to get more people to vote Yes. The #MakeItHappen campaign will be rolled out over the course of the next three weeks. The first activity of the #MakeItHappen campaign is to talk to older people and to persuade them of the need to vote Yes.

Top from left: Brenna Clarke, Jimmy Somers, Jack Eustace, Grace Williams, Alice Somers, Alex White [Director of the Labour’s Marriage referendum campaign] and Joan Burton.

(Mark Stedman/Photocall Ireland)