Five Go Free


B_qadyAWIAAw_ZfFrom left Bernie Hughes, Paul Moore, Derek Byrne and Damien O’Neill this afternoon

We’re missing one.

The President of the High Court has freed four water charge protesters after upholding a challenge to the legality of a committal warrant grounding their detention.

The challenge related to errors in the committal warrant and not to the court hearing which led to their lawful conviction, Mr Justice Nicholas Kearns stressed. He will give a full judgment later explaining his reasons for his ruling.

More as we get it.

High Court frees water charge protesters (RTÉ)

Pic Sinead Hussey

96 thoughts on “Five Go Free

    1. Soundings

      Hurrah for procedural technicalities that take advantage of legal mistakes (like allowing an injunction to prevent protestors coming with 60 feet of a water meter installer)

  1. Rep

    Why were they allowed to be jailed in the first place. The technicalities should’ve been flagged earlier.

    1. trueblueterry

      It was a mistake in the committal order jailing them. This is the order made after the hearing that grounded their jailing and as such did not exist at the time of the hearing and therefore could not be brought to anyone’s attention. The fact of the matter is that they could still be jailed again should the Judge decide to make another order in the correct manner as the President of the High Court stated that the sentence was valid and correct.

        1. trueblueterry

          What are you on about?? There was a paperwork mistake and as is normal practice someone cannot be jailed if the paperwork is incorrect.

          The fact that the paperwork was incorrect was raised by counsel for the Defendants and if there had been any other mistakes surely they would surely have opened these to the Court.

          Judging by your other comments you seem to just make wild accusations without stating any fact or evidence to back them up.

          1. Zuppy International

            The facts are quite clear: 4 people have been unlawfully detained because they were successfully objecting to the unlawful imposition of a private company’s commercial imperative between the people and their right to water.

            The legal non-sense of excuses does not change those facts.

          2. trueblueterry

            Zuppy again you have just claimed that 4 people were unlawfully detained without reason or rhythm. Just because in your opinion it was does not make it so, this is why we have laws so that people cannot just decide whether they agree with a rule or not. At the end of the day an injunction was granted because the Judge deemed the employees constitutional right to work as superior to that of the right to protest and so by granting the injunction did not state one could not protest but merely that such protest should not prevent the employees from being able to carry out there employment, hence the 20 metre exclusion. These 4 individuals then chose to ignore the courts order and violate it, at which stage the court held them in contempt as that is what happens when you violate a court order. The 4 people could have avoided jail all together had they simply said they would abide by the court order like all citizens of this country are obliged to do. Finally your final sentence does imply that you are someone who will never listen to sense as you are dismissing proper legal argument as non sense merely because you do not agree with it.

  2. YourNan

    DB looking like the little poisonous illit midget that he is. Not much to be said about the others, sure it’s state sponsored meals either way.

    1. Rob_G

      “The challenge related to errors in the committal warrant and not to the court hearing which led to their lawful conviction, Mr Justice Nicholas Kearns stressed”

          1. trueblueterry

            I think you guys need to actually read what happened and what was said in Court. There is nothing unbelievable about it, an Order was made jailing them and that Order was not correct in it form as it did not state a number of things that are necessary for it to be valid. How this came to pass I do not know but had it been in the proper form they would not have been released today. The committal Order is no different than the Order that the water protesters violated in the first place to find themselves before the Court. Had there been similar mistakes with that Order they would not have been guilty of contempt, however there was not and these individuals are still guilty of such and can still be jailed again on foot of this.

          2. Zuppy International

            I sure you think that’s what happened, And if that yarn doesn’t fly them Kearns will be back with some more feeble excuses in the near future.

          3. Zuppy International

            “an Order was made jailing them and that Order was not correct”

            You’ve destroyed your own case with this statement.

  3. JimmytheHead

    Fair play to them. Standing up for what they believe in a non violent manner and succeeding in highlighting the walking human joke that is our government and judicial system.

  4. aretheymyfeet

    Fair play to them, keep up the good work. The government are on the run on this. Continue the boycott of IW and it will fail. CAN PAY, WON’T PAY.

    1. Soundings

      Maybe you can pay €160 today, but we all know that will be €500 in a few years, and that will make a serious dent or even tip over the edge some families’ finances.

      You’re right though.The government is on the run. Too scared to publish enforcement and penalty measures promised by Senator Higgins over a month ago. The registration deadline has been moved again, and again, there’s no penalty for non-registration, Noonan is under pressure over the sale of Siteserv to DOB and there’s an election coming in 12 months. IW is dead, or at least the charging/metering model is, it just doesn’t know it.

      And remember the next national march is in Dublin on 21st March, details here – Let’s show this shower the protest hasn’t run its course.

  5. ABM's Bloodied Underwear

    So is this error on the judges part or on the part of the gardai with regard to filling out the forms properly?

    1. Zuppy International

      It was no error. It was a deliberate ploy by the state to denigrate some community activists. The ploy backfired and now the state needs an excuse to let these same activists go.

      This administration – legislative, executive and judicial – is an omni-shambles and they should collectively do the honourable thing and vacate their offices with immediate effect..

      1. declan

        and be replaced by . . . . . the non elected representatives of . . . . . . – seriously get a grip

        1. Zuppy International

          Why replace them with anything? Abandon the state and deny the criminal classes the opportunity of theft in the guise of “government”.

          1. declan

            right so we have a little anarchist community which forms a council of some kind with a 1 person 1 vote situation. Followed by people going to the next level in a . . . . parliament. You’ll become what you hate

          2. declan

            oh, and I’m ranting now but no anarchist has been able to explain to me how we support specialisations in these small communities, eg: doctors, computer manufactures, etc, etc, etc. Rant over, it felt good

          3. declan

            Really!!! he’s got a rosie eyed view of celtic era history in Ireland (listen to the Irish History Podcast – for a literally blow by blow account of was knocking off who). Furthermore he doesn’t seem to realise that these “law families” weren’t necessarily honest arbiters. Finally, they were the state at the time. They had force and could use it. You’re stuck in a never ending circle here Zuppy. You’ll become what you hate

      2. trueblueterry

        Zuppy I have just seen this comment as well and at this stage I am beginning to think you are just a troll. None the less can you please explain to me how an error in paper work is not an error but a ploy by the state. Keep in mind had the committal warrant been drafted properly as it should have been these 4 individuals would still be in jail and that the error was of no benefit to anyone bar the 4 individuals.
        Maybe they are involved in a conspiracy with the registrar that drafted the committal warrant and this was all part of their plan to embarrass the judiciary? (I say this with no proof at all but it seem one can make sweeping statements here and expect all to accept them as fact)

        1. Kieran NYC

          Zuppy is living in his own personal reality.

          He’d give Jim Corr a run for his money.

        2. Zuppy International

          Locking people up for successfully defending their communities was the ploy; a futile policy to to demonise the water protestors. Just like arresting more than 20 people three months after the Jobstown incident, and not one criminal charge has been laid.

          The state, and its corporate bully boys, are misusing the judiciary. The original order had no basis in law so the paperwork was fudged to overcome that problem.

          1. Trueblueterry

            Clearly this is a pointless endeavour as you seem incapable of reason however I will persevere.

            First as far as I am aware when these people violates the court order they were not even in their own communities.

            Regarding the arrests over the alleged false imprisonment of Joan Burton, I believe from reading the papers that the DPP is preparing to charge them. Whilst the papers may not be he most reliable source of information it is the only one we have at the moment.

            Finally regarding the Order. You’re statement that the simply made up the law is without overstating it, ludicrous and idiotic. Try reading some legal precedent and you will find that it is perfectly founded in law.

            I think you need to take a long hard look at what you are saying and try and see if a reasonable person would take your side if they had never heard either side before. You just repeatedly make statements claiming a conspiracy by the government without even a shred of evidence. Maybe one day you will look back on this point in your life and go “God I was acting like a naive teenager”. (this is of course assuming you are in fact not just a teenager trolling on here)

          2. Zuppy International


            The four were released because their detention was unlawful. This is a fact. Even the so-called President of the High Court has had to admit this.

          3. trueblueterry

            Oh Zuppy I feel that reason will never get through to you. The committal warrant was incorrectly constituted but as was pointed out earlier and was stated by Kearns in no uncertain manner, their conviction was lawful.

          4. Zuppy International

            Defend the status quo all you like but your denial of the truth is unbecoming: Unlawful detention was unlawful. Even the President of the High Court knows that.

          5. trueblueterry

            Please explain to me what I am denying? I think you have a lack of understanding of the situation, they were lawfully sentenced as the President of the High Court stated however the paperwork necessary to maintain that detention was deficient and therefore the detention ceased, had it been unlawful in its entirety then the President would not have stated it to be lawful. You are disregarding the fact that the Applicants can go in tomorrow and ask the Judge to correct the warrant and these individuals would be detained again. That doesn’t sound unlawful to me.

          6. Zuppy International

            You’re denying what the President of the High Court has acknowledged: their detention was unlawful.

          7. trueblueterry

            Go and read what the President of the High Court said word for word and then come back to me

  6. Joe the Lion

    You’re “debating” with a fellow who goes under the moniker of “Zuppy”?

    Eh, wake up Sheeple!!!

  7. The Horror

    Summary: they are guilty of contempt and deserved to be jailed; released due to technical error in warrant. Why the celebrations?

  8. Truth in the News

    If the conviction is legal and the comittal order was defective, how
    come the defect was not remidied, what we are looking at is the
    legal establishment feeling the winds of change,whats needs overturning
    is the “exclusion zones”, these set a precedent on the rights of the citizen
    and could well be extended to miles if the legal establishment get away
    with it.

    1. Trueblueterry

      The order can be corrected and it may still be, however I would imagine at this stage that it would be more likely the applicant will see whether these people stay outside the exclusion area and if they do not then will likely establish new contempt proceedings.
      The order must be reasonable hence it was only 20 metres exclusion zone, I am pretty sure that if it was extended to 2 miles an appeal to the Supreme Court would be made and would be successful.

      1. Zuppy International

        The ‘order’ is unlawful and unenforceable. It seeks to deny people their right to free assembly, their right to travel the public highway and their right to refuse to contract. Instead it seeks to compel people to submit to a corporate agenda.

        1. trueblueterry

          How is Order unlawful and unenforceable?
          Yes it does limit peoples the right to free assembly, but this is contrasted against a citizen’s right to work and the Courts decided in this case that that right was the superior right. You have to understand that not all Constitutional right enumerated or not can exist together at the same time, therefore at certain times one right must be superior to another and this is what happened here. There is well established legal argument and has been since 1937 and before.
          As for the right to travel the public highway, this is a right that can be negated in certain circumstances as you might have noticed if you have ever taken a diversion, so there is nothing unlawful about this.
          Finally the what you have described as a citizens right to refuse a contract is not dealt with in this Order so I am confused how this would have any impact on the order. The Order merely deals with work being carried out on public land for the purpose of installing the water meters. The issue of your contract with Irish Water is a separate one and one that has never been dealt with in the proceedings that lead to the injunction as it has no bearing on it.
          I hope this is all clear to you as I have tried so many times to explain this to you but it seems it is not getting through despite my best attempts.

          1. Zuppy International

            “How is Order unlawful and unenforceable”

            How many others have been detained because of this order? None.

            The President of the High Court admits the detention of the four was unlawful yet you seem to insist the you know better.

          2. trueblueterry

            Oh apologies I left out the “an”, clearly that was not blatantly obvious.

            No others have as of yet but there is nothing to say that there will not be others, I do not know what the thought process was behind the applicants going after those 5 but I assume is was because they deemed them as being the most active at violating the Order of the group and had the largest amount of evidence against them.

            Again I also repeat, go read what the President of the High Court said, I will past a synopsis here for you:

            In a brief ruling, Mr Justice Nicholas Kearns directed the four should be freed immediately due to “errors” in the warrant and said he will give his reasons for that in a detailed judgment later this week.
            He stressed the challenge related only to errors in the warrant and there was no allegation of any unfairness in the court hearing which led to the lawful conviction and jailing of the four for contempt of court orders restraining interference with water meter installer GMC Sierra.
            No complaint was being raised in this application about either the conviction or the sentence imposed and no appeal had been brought against those, he said.
            The issue concerned the “instrumentality” of how the four were actually committed to prison and that procedure was not a judicial function, he noted.
            The committal warrant was “the only justification” for the detention and was “lacking in a number of key respects”, he said. While some may see errors in a committal warrant as technical in nature, such errors are “critical” in the context of applications under Article 40.
            As a result of those errors, and although the four remain lawfully convicted and sentenced, the court would direct their immediate release, he said.

          3. Zuppy International

            Unlawful detention is unlawful.

            You and the so-called President of the High Court are deliberately missing the point.

          4. trueblueterry

            Hahaha so no the President is missing the point too. God it must be great to be the only person in this country that knows what really going on Zuppy.

            I love the addition of “so-called” as well, he is so-called and has always be so-called, your contempt for the judiciary is quiet clear in your writings but the most humorous part of it all is the comments you make without understanding the history or workings of it.

  9. Truth in the News

    We are dealing with “exclusion zones” and their use to exclude
    citizens from certain areas, in other words to limit free assembly,
    this departure in law needs overturing at once, 20 Mtrs can become
    Kilometers in the wrong hands….in fact in order to effect the zone
    it would have to be defined physically, in other words how are you
    aware that you entering into such a zone.
    We have created a legal minefield in this ruling and it is quite likely
    that many of judicary who value their freedom too,may now realise we are
    on a slippeary slope.

    1. trueblueterry

      HAHAHA Truth in the News are you Zuppy’s twin brother? Are you incapable of reading what I have just written above regarding the right to limit someone’s right to free assembly when it is impeding on someone else’s right to work? As for the wrong hands, it is in the Courts hands and in the past they have shown to be fair and accurate when applying the law so what makes you think it would not be the case in the future?
      Finally there is no legal minefield here, a person can be barred from coming within a certain distance of plenty of places and this has been normal practice in family matters for years, yet they don’t force a person to go out and mark around the house the distance a person must avoid it by. It is simply idiotic to suggest that you must establish visibly the 20 metre zone so someone would know they are entering it. What you simply do is tell the person that there is a 20 metre exclusion zone if they then refuse to leave it they will be on notice and possibly be in contempt of the Order, however it is highly unlikely you would succeed in prosecution if the were 19 metres away as it would be near impossible to show that exactly post the event.
      The 20 metres zone is merely to allow it to be blatantly obvious that you are breaching the Order if you are standing right beside the works as it would be obvious to anyone that that was within 20 metres and if the person was told or had notice of the injunction then it would be clear to them too. I hope that simplistic explanation is clear enough for you.

      1. Zuppy International

        If you and Irish Water are so confident about your position then why not bring your proceedings to an actual court of law? ie one with a jury.

        1. trueblueterry

          My god man, how about you actually read the law before talking about actual courts of law. Contempt proceedings go before a judge alone. You don’t get to elect what court you are heard in and who hears it. This just shows you fundamental lack of understanding of the legal system and vis-a-vis your complete ignorance when making statements previous regarding its function and operation.

          1. trueblueterry

            Might I also add that a court with a jury and one without are still actual courts of law.

          2. Zuppy International

            You don’t seem to know the difference between law and policy (aka Acts, statutes, legislation).

            I am subject to law (eg cause no injury or harm). I am not subject to policy unless I consent to same (eg I reject the unnecessary and unlawful scam that is Irish Water.)

            Take that back to your ‘Law Library’ and smoke it.

          3. trueblueterry

            I can’t believe I have to do this even for you Zuppy but the definition of law is as follows:

            noun \ˈlȯ\
            : the whole system or set of rules made by the government of a town, state, country, etc.

            : a particular kind of law

            : a rule made by the government of a town, state, country, etc.

            So if you are claiming that acts, statutes and legislation are not the law then I don’t know what to say as it is clear to everyone that these are the foundation of our law along with common law.

            Regarding your statement “I am not subject to policy unless I consent to same (eg I reject the unnecessary and unlawful scam that is Irish Water.)“. Have you ever heard of a compulsory purchase order? this is an order of a state body that forces a person to enter into a contract for sale, they may challenge the order but if they are not successful they must enter the contract. This is exactly the same for Irish Water, you are forced to enter the contract on account of the Water Services Act 2013 (which is law not policy for the avoidance of any doubt) and should you wish to dispute this you can in the courts but if you are unsuccessful you will be required to enter said contract.

            Before you go on and make anymore replies to me can you actually do some research instead of just claiming something to be fact without giving me any reason why.

            Also as you surely know it is against the law to smoke in a workplace. So I am sure if I were to go to the law library and smoke there I would have the relevant authorities take some issue with it and I couldn’t simply get out of it by stating I am not subject to policy.

          4. Zuppy International

            “Statists’ the slow children of political reality,

            “Rules” made by drunk parliaments have no standing.

          5. trueblueterry

            I am amazed, you have convinced me I was wrong in my beliefs by making an unsupported, ignorant, and nonsensical statement of:

            “Statists’ the slow children of political reality,

            “Rules” made by drunk parliaments have no standing.

            Your comments read like a definition of ignorance at this point.

          6. Zuppy International

            So you allow a drunk parliament to create policy for how you live your life?

            How’s that working out for you>

          7. trueblueterry

            Where are you getting this drunk parliament from?
            I can think of one incident where the parliament was sitting in which one member was drunk in all of the the years it has been sitting. If you have more and show me why this is a drunk parliament maybe I could then appreciate you point of view but as usual you are making statements with nothing to back them up.

          8. trueblueterry

            yes and that would be the one incident I was mentioned in my previous post, now please provide me with another since you have insinuated that the Dail is constantly drunk, preferably one during normal business hours as 99% of bills will be passed during this time.

          9. trueblueterry

            You have given me more articles about the same incident and then one about the takings of the Dail bar and another about a spurious claim by a Sinn Fein Senator which has been denied by everyone so I am unsure as to where you proof of a drunken parliament.

            Maybe you should go on here and you can watch the Dail when it is sitting. Tell me how many drunken TDs you can see.

      2. Truth in the News

        You now appear to have got bogged down in the legal
        minefield too, re-read your contribution.

          1. Zuppy International

            The fact is unlawful detention is unlawful. The state has created a legal minefield for itself.

          2. trueblueterry

            Well done there, I can see you took the time to read what we were talking about because I always refer to exclusion zones as detention.

          3. Zuppy International

            You allege that breaching the 20 meter exclusion zone allows a private company to apply to have living men and women jailed for contempt of court even as the legislative parliament and the alleged ‘government’ sit in contempt of the people they are supposed to serve.

            Check Article 6 of Bunreacht na hÉireann:

            “All powers of government, legislative, executive and judicial, derive, under God, from the people, whose right it is to designate the rulers of the State and, in final appeal, to decide all questions of national policy, according to the requirements of the common good.”

            The people say no to the scam that is Irish Water yet the state and its minions like trueblueterry insist they have he authority to overrule the people.

          4. trueblueterry

            We were talking about the legal minefield over establishing the the 20 metres not the detention. Read it again. As for the rest of your statement, you really are just talking nonsense now.

            With regard to the government, do you understand how democracy works? We the people elect representatives to the parliament for a set period of time during which they operate with the power to make decisions on our behalf. Those in the Dail at this time were democratically elected and therefore have the right to create Irish Water. Funnily enough I don’t think you or I can say what the entire country wants and I certainly do not claim to speak on behalf of all the people of Ireland but we have a process of democracy that has been followed and if you don’t like it go vote for whoever you want in the next general election. That is how democracy works.

          5. trueblueterry

            Ah now I see your true colours. I shall leave it here then as I know your sort and I do not believe one bit in your beliefs, so adios Zuppy.

  10. pissedasanewt

    Huge waste of money. Jail time wasted, court time wasted, just stay more then 20 feet away from guys installing water meters.. protest to your hearts content. Would have been cheaper just to slap a bit fine on them.

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