Get Up Stand Up



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.


Paul Murphy (Facebook)

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

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188 thoughts on “Get Up Stand Up

    1. Paolo

      +20 He knows that there are plenty of ways to protest that don’t involve intimidation. Even if he didn’t personally intimidate anyone, the louts and hangers-on certainly did.

  1. Jonotti

    It’s only a minor delay. Paul Durley won’t mind if a group of 100 people target his mother and keep her shut in her car for hours whilst spitting and shouting vile abuse.
    It’s morally justifiable because she gave birth to him.

  2. john

    Not one banker goes to jail for bankrupting a country and 20 protesters being charged for inconveniencing a politician. I think that could be termed political policing all right.
    Are there rules to how one must protest. Can the guards etc issue said rules so everyone can play nicey nicey.

    Rossport was a lovely example of where standing in the sidelines gets you no where. How does one stop heavy machinery, you get in front of it. Of course you will be met with police brutality in protection of corporate overlords but that’s how the game is played.

      1. john

        I don’t think they bankrupted a country. This was some minor compliance issue so Sean F could protect his buddies. Senior Management just did what they were told. Unrelated to bigger picture items of concern.,

        1. Paolo

          Seanie F will be on trial in October and Drumm will be winging his way back here in a couple of months too to face trial. I’m guessing that they will not get the sentences that they deserve but your initial comment is rubbish and shows that lack of awareness displayed by water protesters in general.

          1. italia'90

            Seriuosly Clampers WTF!
            Go back to bed and get up again.
            Read it again. The charges against Seanie are nothing to do with bankrupting the country. He was allegedly involved in a scam to hide money in accounts to avoid paying D.I.R.T. Remember Annsbacher? Similar poo.

            And Seanie Fitz was never visited at his home in The Burnaby, Greystones by the gardai.
            He was invited to Bray Garda Station and arrested after being formally charged.

          2. italia'90

            They have better laws, better detection and enforcement too Steve.
            But you knew that already.
            White collar crime is easily forgotten by the authorities in Ireland, let’s not kid ourselves any longer.
            I hope to see a CAB for such crimes oneday, but I’m not holding my breath.

          3. Steve

            I think you’re missing my point.

            Does it really matter what seanie is convicted for…as long as he is wearing stripes for a few years in arbour hill.

          4. Clampers Outside!

            @Italia… the previous convictions help establish chains of command which if you have been paying attention is something which is missing within Anglo with all the upper areas of management passing the buck of responsibility about…. but sure, you ignore all that like a good lad.

        2. Robert

          Rather than implement proper legislation that would attempt to stem white-collar crime, these guys were got on tax law … just like Al Capone …

      2. donal

        Anglo Three jailed for actions in 2003, irrelevant to the “not one banker goes to jail for bankrupting a country” statement

    1. Jackdaw

      Banker banker blah blah. 3 jailed only last week with bigger fish going on trial soon. Read a newspaper, watch the news and keep up like a good man before you spout grade one bullpoo

      1. italia'90

        You did read a newspaper didn’t you? …Did You?
        And you do know what offences they were jailed for and when they committed the offences?
        You do don”t you?
        Now tell everybody how that is connected to this article?

          1. Jackdaw

            @ Italia 90 I’m conscious of the old saying “don’t ever argue with a fool because after a while people might not tell you apart”. Some facts
            1. The evidence leading to the jailing last week was uncovered during the trawl of documents in post collapse Anglo. More charges are before the courts relating to the actual collapse and propping up of the bank.
            Sean F had his house searched in the early morning and was arrested in his home so you’re just simply making stuff up now. Subsequent arrests took place by appointment which I believe is pretty normal practice.
            I wish I could draw you a picture with some nice crayons as that might help you understand.

          2. italia'90

            You really believe that someone is going to jail for the real offences carried out against the state and it’s citizens?
            A few token gestures and the odd numpty thrown under the bus, but the real financial psychos will be laughing all the way to Sandy Lane and Quinta Do Lago with the rest of Nama’s chosen few.

    2. Bob

      If you’ve proof that can lead to a conviction, you may want to give it to the gardaí. That’s how the law works. Simply wanting someone to go to prison won’t make it so.

      1. graywing

        I count 10 Gardai in the above picture. If someone was being ‘imprisoned falsely’, why didn’t they make arrests or otherwise ‘liberate’ the Tanaiste?
        Alarming negligence on behalf of the Gardai.

        Maybe because it would have been politically toxic, instead they’re doing it 9 months after the event, when they’ve denounced the protests as fascist enough times that people will start to believe it.

        1. scottser

          exactly. the charges of false imprisonment are a joke – they should be reduced to obstruction and the protesters get the probation act. that this sham is being conducted in the circuit court in front of a jury beggars belief.

        2. The Old Boy

          Come on. If the Gardaí had started dragging people away they would have been shouting about police brutality until they were blue in the face. I’m sure they were under orders not to go in “gung ho” if there was a risk of provoking rioting.

          1. Sam

            I very much doubt they care about anyone shouting police brutality. It’s like water off a ducks back. Also, the risk of a riot?
            If most people are sitting peacefully on the road for two hours, that’s not indicative of a riotous mood.
            If there’s risk of a riot, then the riot squad should have been there a lot faster than 2 hours passing by. In fact, I’d say the longer the cops let it go on, the more likely it was that some gobshites would do something stupid.
            Either way, the cops bungled this, and very likely for political and media considerations rather than law enforcement. Burton had just come from a very positive photo op and didn’t want Murphy et al ruining the media pay off. That backfired rather badly due to ineptitude.

            What they should have done, is instructed people to leave, caution them that they would be liable to arrest, trial and possible imprisonment and fines for refusing to do so, and then arrest those who choose to continue. That’s what the Public Order Act enables them to do to remove people who are wilfully obstructing others without lawful cause.

  3. Owen

    I truly hate this clown. Keeping a senior politician in her car for 2 hours is not a protest, it’s holding someone against their will. Look at other nations reaction to activities like this. I think its exemplar how Ireland is using the course of justice in this matter rather then preventing a protest, or worse, shooting people.

    Also, “Just as no Garda was in touch with me to question me before my arrest”. I don’t think they are inclined to give people a heads up on a pending arrest.

    1. donal

      Opinions on this clearly differ. Mine is that it was a protest. She was prevented from carrying out her official duties for a few hours, inconvenienced, and was targeted as a symbol of a government whose policies the protestors disagree with. I hope the courts agree with my interpretation.

      1. Paolo

        She was subjected to verbal abuse from scumbags for hours. I was there. They were scumbags. They people sitting down on the ground were not shouting abuse, they were just facilitating it and preventing the car from getting to safety.

        Would you like to see a friend or relative abused in this way, just for doing his/her job?

        1. Clampers Outside!

          If they were doing that job badly and protecting their own wealthy friends while making life miserable for others less well off, and done while lying to those they were supposed to be working for while they swanned about the place… well… yeah, I’d have no problem with them being detained at all.

          1. italia'90

            What now?
            Are you running with the foxes and chasing with the hounds Clampers?
            Well, you have me confused, doesn’t take much, I do admit.

          2. Clampers Outside!

            I’m not keen on protesters. I’m not keen on Labour. I’m not keen on bullcrap charges when clearly something could have been done by the Gardaí who witnessed and stood by and did nothing…. makes a joke of the charges and the judicial system.

            I’m not on any side in this, and as the moon in The Mighty Boosh says “I’m all grey” in this issue, it’s not at all black and white.

      2. Nessy

        100% agree with you there Donal

        Unless of course the Deputy herself saw the boot of the car as her only escape, I mean heaven forbid if she actually exited the flipping door she used to enter the car, you know, the one that protesters aren’t blocking, the one where the Gardai are standing next to?

        Absolutely laughable!

        1. ReproBertie

          From the article linked to above: “When Ms Burton was taken from the car being blocked and walked to another vehicle by gardaí a number of missiles were thrown at her. She was hit on the head by a water balloon. Other objects, including bricks, where thrown at gardaí and their vehicles.”

          1. italia'90

            If I remember correctly and I could be wrong, one garda car was hit with one brick after a young fella was arrested in a nearby estate and was driven thru the same area as the protesters were waving cheerio to iJoan and chums.

          2. ReproBertie

            I was responding to Nessy’s naive belief that An Tánaiste could just get out of her car and walk away. That said, the violence that followed her exiting her car would strongly suggest that she was being imprisoned by the very real threat of violence if she left.

          3. Nessy

            ReproBertie the brick was thrown after Joan had left, and after the Garda riot squat went in batons drawn ready to attack any resident they saw (including a young girl holding a child on the footpath well away from the road).
            ReproBertie She could have got out of the car, the Gardai led her to that car, she had walked several meters from one area to another to get into that car without being attacked, and when she got out of the car (which the protesters were sitting behind), by opening the door (and not the boot), she then walked freely to another car without being attacked.

            It’s hardly imprisonment if she’s sitting in a car of her own free will when she could have just as easily have opened her car door to exit the card just as easily as she had entered.

          4. ReproBertie

            Nessy you’re just proving my point. She couldn’t leave because once she did there was violence so she was imprisoned by the threat of violence.

            She got out of her car, walked, protected by gardaí to another car and was hit with a water balloon along the way so by getting out of her car she exposed herself to violence from the crowd. The scale of the violence is something that neither she nor the gardaí could have known in advance.

          5. Zuppy International

            What is this? Show trial by media now? Has anyone actually been charged or is the DPP just running a Labour Party Dirty Tricks campaign by leaking suggestive innuendo to the media?

            Either way I want to see Brutal testify in front of a jury.

          6. Nessy

            There was another car she could have got into (the one that carried her from Jobstown and beyond). She could have easily have walked into that car as none of the protesters were preventing her from leaving the car (unless she wanted to exit through the boot of the car)

            A child threw a water balloon at her. It’s hardly a threat of violence or a WMD.

            I suppose the next time a child squirts you with a water pistol you’d want them hung drawn and quartered?

            Sensationalism is your strong point pal

          7. ReproBertie

            Lol Dón, when the facts go against you try and make a joke out of it and hope nobody notices your lack of an argument.

          8. Dόn Pídgéόní

            No, Repro, my point stands. This was a protest. As Nessy points out, your claims are incorrect, which makes the charges and the fact that the situation was controlled even more ridiculous.

          9. ReproBertie

            Yes, she was hit by a water balloon. The garda psychic squad should be reprimanded for not telling everyone that the only danger of leaving the car was a water balloon.

            You clearly don’t understand what a threat of violence is.

            She was hit with a water balloon when she left her car. You keep saying she could have just left her car but when she did she was met with violence. A very low level of violence but violence none the less. Had it been a brick or a bottle then the gardaí would be reprimanded for exposing her to the violence by having her leave the car. Instead we act like it was a big joke and mock the precautions taken by the gardaí to protect her safety, precautions that would not have been necessary had there been no threat of violence.

          10. ReproBertie

            Don how are my claims incorrect? She was being kept in her car by the threat of violence, as was clearly demonstrated by the fact that she was attacked when she left her car.

            The attack was minor but it happened.

          11. Dόn Pídgéόní

            Your quote of “Other objects, including bricks, where thrown at gardaí and their vehicles.” That happened after she left according to Nessy.

            “She was attacked”… by a water balloon.. Come on. Yes, that is probably some kind of crime but it is minor compared to being lamped in the face with a brick. I’m sure you realise that.

            “Instead we act like it was a big joke and mock the precautions taken by the gardaí to protect her safety, precautions that would not have been necessary had there been no threat of violence.”
            The gardai clearly took no such precautions. They are pinning this on the protestors instead of themselves. No one is asking where they were or where their planning was. Isn’t she like 2nd in charge or something? And you have no plan on how to protect her? That is a joke. I would be p*****d if I was Joan.

            Anyway, we are going to have to agree to disagree on this. I think its a relatively minor thing where the cops messed up big time, you don’t. That’s fine.

          12. Dόn Pídgéόní

            And its not the garda psychic squad – its the garda doing their job in protecting someone they are supposed to protect. That includes things like “oh we are going to this event today, there are people angry about X, we might expect some protesters, let’s not put the car somewhere where it can’t get out and have a valid backup”. Surely that happens for everyone?

          13. ReproBertie

            Your quote of “Other objects, including bricks, where thrown at gardaí and their vehicles.” That happened after she left according to Nessy.

            Yes, so her departure resulted in violence meaning she was imprisoned by the threat of violence.

            I do believe it was a relatively minor thing but I also believe that the gardaí couldn’t have known how minor it was going to be. We can second guess their decisions and criticise their lack of preparation all we like that that doesn’t excuse the actions of the protestors, actions which the gardaí and DPP believe justify charges.

            I wasn’t there so I’ve no idea how large the protest was when an Tánaiste arrived, how quickly it grew or how slowly the gardaí reacted to it growing.

          14. Dόn Pídgéόní

            Protesters gonna protest. That is not illegal. Sitting in front of her car is not illegal. The police should have been able to handle it. That is my main criticism of this. And the nonsense charges.

          15. ReproBertie

            Nowhere did I even hint at suggesting that protesting or sitting in front of her car was illegal.

            Believe it or not I agree with you. The gardaí should have been better prepared and acted before it grew to the level it did. When it did they reacted by bringing in the public order unit but the protestors backed down before it came to deploying them.

            Could it have been that the scrutiny of all and any actions of the gardaí around anti-IW protests and anti-water meter protests meant that they were treading extra softly? Maybe, or maybe they were just completely caught off guard and were slow to react. Whatever the reason, mistakes were made and this was allowed to grow into something that it should never have been.

        2. Nessy

          Doesn’t he just

          I mean the similarities of Joanie sitting in her car for 2 hours and the seige of Hanoi are unreal

    2. Dόn Pídgéόní

      Oh come one. Unless they are holding the doors shut, they are not imprisoning her. This is hilariously embarrassing. She had options to leave, the police should have managed the situation and are now trying to cover their butts by trumped up charges on protestors.

      1. Helen 2.0

        So by your logic…if you were driving out of your driveway and I decide to sit in front of you and stop you leaving what would you do?

          1. Dόn Pídgéόní

            This. And then if you don’t, go around you. And if that’s not possible, call the police or 2 of the largest, scariest men I know to “help you along”. Its called thinking of options rather than crying about it and charging people with something which is frankly laughable.

          2. ReproBertie

            What if Helen 2.0 had several hundred of her close friends around the corner and you believed that calling the gardaí or two large scary men would result in an angry and possibly violent response from these close friends?

          3. Dόn Pídgéόní

            I would call the police either way. It is their job. And when they finally get their shite together, they will move you on.

            Now, if I had reason to believe that people would be outside my house, I would make sure that there was something in place to prevent it happening in the first place. This isn’t blaming Joan but someone must be charge of her security?

          4. Helen 2.0

            Ah I get you now….so because I’m doing something you believe is unlawful you call the police! Thanks for clearing that up for me

          5. Robert

            Look, you sound reasonable enough. I’m sure if I speak with you, explain I have to be somewhere and arrange to discuss with you your grievances at a later date you’ll make way for me.

          6. Helen 2.0

            That depends on your interpretation of the statute books and the finer points of each case including how the alleged injured party perceived what was happening.
            This scenario could constitute an offence under Section 15(1)(c) of NFOAPA 1997.

            False imprisonment.

            15.—(1) A person shall be guilty of the offence of false imprisonment who intentionally or recklessly—

            (a) takes or detains, or

            (b) causes to be taken or detained, or

            (c) otherwise restricts the personal liberty of,

            another without that other’s consent.

            Ultimately it will be the courts that make final judgment not you or me

          7. Robert

            These cannot be proven:

            (a) takes or detains, or

            (b) causes to be taken or detained, or

            (c) otherwise restricts the personal liberty of,

            Defence could very easily argue that the Labour leader stayed in the care of her own free will, that she could have left if she really wanted/needed to. That would be a very easy case to make.

            On the other hand the public order/obstruction charges could probably have been applied. Obstruction: “I wanted to leave, but I was obstructed”.

          1. Helen 2.0

            It relates to the same thing. Everybody’s constitutional “right to liberty”. Like it or not politicians have to same rights under the constitution as every other citizen in the country.

          2. Robert

            Good thing we’ve got all these professional trolls now lurking around the message boards with their briefed legal “opinion” …

        1. Sam

          There’s a section in the Public Order Act about blocking people and traffic, and it carries a suitable penalty in the district court.
          False imprisonment is a very different scenario from merely sitting in front of a car and not allowing it to leave.

          If they can identify those who threw things, they can charge them appropriately for those acts, but unless they can show that those people acted in concert with those sitting peacefully, then they can’t get everyone for the actions of individuals .
          Charging everyone who was sitting on the road with false imprisonment is ridiculous, and is more about the politics than the realities of the law.

          The cops could have started lifting people for Public Order, but chose not to, perhaps in the hope of not giving media attention to the anti austerity campaigns, but in doing so, they got egg on their faces and this is their retribution.

          It’s a waste of the courts time to charge them with such an over the top offence. Costs of legal aid, barristers and a jury in the Circuit Court.
          This should have been dealt with at the District Court level with the appropriate charges.

          1. italia'90

            It’s scarily similar tactics to those used by The Man With The Tiny Penis.
            I guess his minions love to troll this site more now than ever before.

      2. 15 cents

        your dead right, Don Pidge. she couldve left easily. couldve gotten police to walk her over to a police car or a seperate government car and just leave. she stayed because it was a chance to be a victim.. a victim much like the thousands of people whos lives have been badly effected by policies she backs.

        1. Dόn Pídgéόní

          Tbf, she was probably just doing what the cops told her to which is completely fair. But it should and could have been managed much better.

    3. The smoking priest

      They could have requested his presence at a local garda station,no?

      No,they preferred a mor

      1. The smoking priest

        ..a more intimidatory approach,clearly designed to scare people,not to mention the extra cost of sending a group garda to his house.Did they not have other things to do?

    1. Owen

      There is a difference between ‘the guards’ and ‘a guard’. At this stage it is clear that media presence at any water protest / arrest is not favourable to the guards.

    1. john

      Agree, its is beyond satire and very infuriating. This makes me want to protest in favour of the protesters even though i don’t normally protest.

        1. Nessy

          One must wonder if the driver of the next car to breakdown on the M50, delaying motorists by several minutes/hours, leaving them motionless in their vehicles will also be held accountable and charged with false imprisonment of the dozens/hundreds of motorists they’ve inconvenienced.

          Or better still will the people out protesting at the next Right2Water march in August be charged with false imprisonment when they inconvenience motorists and road users as they pass through the city? Judging by the previous turnouts, that’ll be an expensive trial. We’d better get building the Bertie Bowl for that one!

          1. Dόn Pídgéόní

            People who walk slowly down the street or in a massive group blocking the footpath are imprisoning me from getting on with my sh**. I will perform a citizen’s arrest the next time!!

        2. Robert

          It’s a big blow for Labour’s credentials in the working class consituency. Probably a nice boost for Sinn Féin as well …

    2. Spaghetti Hoop

      It is. I’m not defending the protesters but they probably had no idea they were committing an offence of ‘false imprisonment’. A severe caution would have been sufficient. A very mis-managed situation.

  4. Anne

    “including me, will be charged with false imprisonment – a charge that carries a maximum sentence of life in prison. ”

    Just a thought, but wouldn’t killing the witch carry the same sentence?

    Whatever punishment should fit what happened. She was delayed for 2 hours.. get over it.

    1. Dubloony

      Max sentence is life for the likes of an IRA kidnapping, but this would obviously be less. Talk about drama queen.

      A democratically elected politician was going about her duties by being at a graduation of an adult education education college.
      Murphy would have no clue what it means to people who never had a chance at education in the first place to get a chance to do something like this.
      He talks of the working class but has no idea what its like to be actually working class.

      1. italia'90

        What official state duties was she performing exactly?
        I don’t remember her at my graduation or any of my kids conferrals in Dublin in the last 5 years?

        I’ve heard that most of the students didn’t agree with her being there, only the party apparatchiks wanted her there. Sure she’d show up to the opening of a letter if their was a camera in the same room.

          1. italia'90

            I have a business located in Tallaght and I employed one of the adult students who was in attendance that day.
            Good enough for you?

      1. scottser

        no-one is suggesting we overlook any wrongdoing, but there’s crime and then there’s stuff dressed up to look like crime.

  5. Just sayin'

    I’ve never like those aggressive tactics.
    They should alsocharge the protestors at Fingal County Council buildings last February and April. They blocked the car park and told officials, councilors, etc. who could leave and who couldn’t.
    Its a creepy kind of mob rule and a move in the wrong direction.

    Call me old fashioned, I’ll stick with parliamentary democracy.

        1. Just sayin'

          Not sure what that means. Anyway, a trial is a godsend to these lads. I can see Murphy’s smug smile beaming out already.

          1. ReproBertie

            Once again the gardaí help the anti-water charge protest by leaking this information in time for a massive publicity campaign ahead of the next protest. They did something similar with the dawn raids resuting in massive coverage for the protestors and further backlash against IW and the government.

            They can’t be seen to protest but they certainly do their best to help the anti-IW cause.

  6. Diddy

    A vicious attack on the working class by the Labour Party is it? By viciously ring fencing dole payments and generous rent allowances? I was on the scratcher. It’s generous and I was greatful for it.

    1. Dubloony

      Perhaps he’d rather be like Greece?
      No dole system, no lone parents payments of any type people living on charity, relying on friends and family alone.

      1. Owen C

        Paul Murphy was a huge fan of Tsipras and Varoufakis. Then he wasn’t when they agreed to do a deal with the Troika. His heroes let him down by only managing to half destroy the Greek economy, rather than full-on annihilation via uncontrolled Grexit.

        1. jon

          “tsipras and varoufakis half-destroyed the greek economy” – jesus christ, i’ve read some economically illiterate posts on this site in my time, but that one beats banagher.

    2. italia'90

      By ring fencing dole payments I’m pretty sure they also managed to ring fence their own generous remuneration packages.
      I always wondered how do people manage on €188 a week?
      I certainly couldn’t and I doubt very much that any of our well paid officials could either.

      As for rent allowances, I don’t know how many times I’ve read that it has been cut in recent years and after trawling the internet for an apartment for my daughter to rent, it seems rent allowance isn’t accepted in the majority of advertisements on daft and myhome/

      The irony in your past and present circumstances and your comment isn’t lost on me either.
      Are you on Mount Street or Ely Place by any chance?

  7. newsjustin

    it would be political policing if the Gardaí invented evidence of a crime that wasn’t there OR they chose to ignore evidence that was there.

    Paul Murphy shrieks about political policing while claiming that any crime committed in the course of a political protest should be ignored.

      1. ReproBertie

        They did. Nobody was injured, the protest was wound down when they brought in the public order unit (the protestors agreed to let the Tánaiste go if they were not deployed) and the gardaí followed up with an investigation resulting in criminal charges.

        Doing their job any other way may not have ended so peacefully for either side.

        1. Dόn Pídgéόní

          I thought she got hit in the head?

          The cops doing their job is 1)assessing the likelihood of protest and being prepared and 2)not letting her sit there for TWO hours while they scratched their holes and thought about how to fix the situation. Their job is to maintain public order and when it isn’t to restore it. Their job is also to provide extra security for elected officials, because face it, people will always have something to protest about. No one is talking about how the cops completely dropped the ball on this and then fumbled around in the dust for TWO HOURS trying to fix it. I mean 100 protesters is something the cops should be able to deal with.

          1. newsjustin

            So how should the Gardaí have prevented or removed the protestors from their positions blocking the car? Tickled them?

            You’re talking nonsense on this one Don. The Gardaí must (and do) thread a very, very thin line between allowing people to protest and keeping order. They can’t block/remove/arrest/tackle protestors or potential protestors who are not doing anything wrong. If things do get heated, which they clearly did in this case, they must behave responsibly and use the minimum force necessary. This gives protestors the option to resume a peaceful protest or the option to escalate things.

          2. Sam

            You’re talking nonsense on this one Don. The Gardaí must (and do) thread a very, very thin line between allowing people to protest and keeping order. They can’t block/remove/arrest/tackle protestors or potential protestors who are not doing anything wrong.

            That is one of the most ill informed naive comments I’ve read on here in a while, along with “The DPP is independent”.

            The cops can and do arrest people with or without just cause in relation to protests.
            Also, they were never slow to lash the batons against people sitting on a road in Rossport, or perhaps you’ve forgotten some of the thuggery on display at the Reclaim the Streets Protest where some cops were so slap happy they even belted people who were waiting for a bus.

            The Ladybird Book version of policing to which you refer does not exist. The only time they won’t lift people blocking the road is when word comes down from above that it would look bad on the day.

          3. Dόn Pídgéόní

            “Tickled them?”. What? There are numerous ways they could have dealt with the situation, both before and during. And they didn’t, it’s clear they had no ideda what to do. Other police forces, who also police by consent, could have dealt with this faster. And the Gardai aren’t too slow with the batons on other occasions so your thin line is clearly very dependent on whoever is in charge on the day.

            “They can’t block/remove/arrest/tackle protestors or potential protestors who are not doing anything wrong.”

            Why are they being prosecuted then?

          4. newsjustin

            Don. People are being prosecuted (apparently) because there is evidence they weren’t doing nothing wrong and, in fact, it would seem there is evidence to suggest they may have committed a crime. You seem unable to comprehend that this is the case.

            Even if we accept your criticism of the Gardaí, are you saying that crimes that are committed because the Gardaí are absent/weak/incompetent are not crimes are shouldn’t be punished?

          5. Dόn Pídgéόní

            Sitting on the ground in front of a car is a crime? Peaceful protest (for the most part) is a crime? Sorry, no.

          6. newsjustin

            If there are charges Don, they won’t be for peacefully protesting. If there is evidence to suggest that someone behaved illegally, the Gardaí should investigate and the DPP will determine if a case should be brought against them.

            If there’s no evidence, there will be no decision to prosecute. If there is insufficient evidence, they will be found not-guilty.

            It’s really terribly simple.

        2. Sam

          Nobody was injured, the protest was wound down when they brought in the public order unit (the protestors agreed to let the Tánaiste go if they were not deployed) and the gardaí followed up with an investigation resulting in criminal charges.

          That being the case, why didn’t the wait 2 hours to threaten to deploy the public order unit, and how many things had been thrown by that point?
          I wouldn’t call that ‘doing the job’ by a long stretch.

  8. ReproBertie

    “It will be a trial of over 20 people for having the temerity to protest”.

    Now I’ve not seen a list of charges but I’m pretty sure not one of those charged will be charged with protesting. Of course it’s easier to stoke the outrage with such amateur dramatics than to deal with the facts of the case.

    1. Sam

      Very unlikely he’ll get convicted. The charge is way over the top, and it will have to go before a jury because of the nature of the charge.

      If they’d charged him with various sections of the Public Order Act, then that would be a different story in the District Court, but as is they will keep him tied up with court appearances for quite a while, which may be the real intent of the charges anyway.

  9. Atticus

    That God that the protesters have been proved wrong about Irish Water. It’s a great company and has been expertly set up in a fair and equitable way.

    1. Paolo

      Yes, because the protesters are worried about the structure of Irish Water. They would be perfectly happy to pay their fair share so long as Irish Water was restructured and a guarantee made that it could never be privatised. Champagne Socialists like Murphy don’t give a crap about the workers in Irish water. They don’t seem to realise that restructuring Irish Water means finding “efficiencies” that mean less money for hard working employees.

      Sadly, these protesters think that water has no value and that it can be pissed away with no repercussions. The last 38 years has shown that if there is no charge for water then people do not care about wasting it. Ireland is the only developed country that doesn’t value water and, as a result, our water infrastructure is 2nd world at best.

      1. Sam

        The last 38 years has shown that if there is no charge for water then people do not care about wasting it.

        One thing that has been sadly lacking is statistical evidence about how wasteful the public are with water.
        We have plenty of stats about leakage and can draw fairly well grounded conclusions about how low a priority the loss of water through leaks has been to the local authorities and central government.

      2. italia'90

        Thanks for all of your input Mrs Arnett.
        I believe most protesters are opposed to Irish Water not Ireland’s Water.

  10. jungleman

    Not a fan of murphy and happy enough to pay the water charge. But Paul Reynolds is an absolute mouthpiece for the Gardai. He should be moved to another department.

    1. 15 cents

      maybe you’re not bothered by paying water charges because you’re in a position of financial stability, but many many people around the country simply cannot give any more. my gripe with the pro-water charges people is the lack of sympathy and understanding .. its not a burden to you, but you cant see how it could be for others, or you can see and just flat out dont care.

      1. jungleman

        I think there’s plenty of people out protesting who have no problem spending multiples of the water charge on fags and booze. That’s my perspective.

        1. scottser

          t’ain’t none of your business what other folks spend their money on. quit your curtain twitching ya big squinting window..

        2. jon

          why does the right wing have this bizarre, long-standing obsession with the idea of a poor person having a pint or smoking a cigarette.

          i can genuinely never get my head around it.

  11. Vote Rep #1

    Does Paul Murphy actually believe that it is the Labour party demanding that they get arrested. Does he believe that once a party gets in power, they can just go arresting people willy-nilly?

    1. newsjustin

      He seems to be suggesting that alright. That since “many in the labour party want it” it will happen. He went out of his way to not say that he thought the DPP was doing her job properly.

      1. Just sayin'

        Well if Burton declined to pursue the matter and indicated she didn’t want to testify she could torpedo the case. Otherwise the DPP is independent.

        Meanwhile we’ll leave Janet in La La Land with her conspiracy theories.

    2. jungleman

      I’d say senior members of government have potentially massive influence over the actions of the Gardai

      1. Vote Rep #1

        Having influence on the gardi is not the same as demanding that people get arrested & charged ffs. Do people actually believe that Joan called in the commissioner and demanded that these people get arrested? Joan has that much power over the gardai and the DPP? ffs

        1. jungleman

          Why do you keep focusing solely on Joan? Irish water is FG’s baby. I wouldn’t be surprised if there was political influence behind the arrest and charge.

          1. Vote Rep #1

            Because of the quote bolded above “How many people does Joan Burton feel should be imprisoned because she was delayed for a couple of hours?” and him on the radio this morning basically saying that it was Labour demanding this.

          2. italia'90

            It’s part of the Irish political, legal and law enforcement culture.
            You have never noticed it before?
            I dare you to take a labour party member to court for non payment and breach of contract, up in front of a Lab/FG/FF appointed judge and see how justice really works in this country. Believe me, the system broken and corrupt to the core,

  12. ivan

    I’m not a fan of Paul Murphy, but a few things strike me

    a) if you’re getting charged, news of that shouldn’t break until summonses have issued, or you’ve been formally charged. RTE shouldn’t be complicit in short circuiting this practise, scoop or not.
    b) Jury trial in the Circuit Court? Somebody’s feeling bloody brave if they’re hoping to secure a conviction.
    c) are charges being brought against Murphy so that he’s nobbled as a TD; a costodial sentence might put paid to his chances of ever being able to stand for election again?

    I don’t doubt that if somebody commits an offence, they should be charged.

    Would we all feel the same about the protesters being charged if, instead of it being Joan Burton, it was Larry Murphy in the car and who’d been identified and imprisoned? David Drumm?

    1. ReproBertie

      On point 2 – because the decision to charge these people was taken more than six months after the event, their cases cannot be dealt with at District Court level where penalties are at a minor level.Those to be charged will face trial on indictment before the Circuit Criminal Court. Unlike the District Court, cases before the Circuit Court can be tried before a jury but the penalties upon conviction are more severe.

        1. Just sayin'

          Well it depends on who you listen to. On the one hand, it could be because the political masters dictated it to their obliging Gardaí lap-dogs. On the other hand, it might be because some guy was on holidays in July and is only getting it around to it now.
          Disappointingly for many, its usually the latter.

    2. Kieran NYC

      How would you feel if it was your mother or grandmother in the car being shouted at, being called ‘scum’ and a ‘fu***** durtburd’ and being threatened/having stuff thrown at her?

      Just because you don’t like someone, it’s not an excuse to break the law.

  13. ollie

    When did the DPP start making announcements about upcoming trials, and why do the Gardai keep leaking information to Paul Reylonds?
    Why were people dragged from their homes by dozens of Gardai, when our esteemed white collar criminals can be interviewed by appointment?

    More to the point, why is the Moriarty Tribunal report with the DPP for 4 YEARS?

    In any event, no-one will go to jail from these show trials. False imprisonment will be impossible to prove, and the rest of the charges don’t warrant incarceration. Sure a rapist doesn’t get locked up in Ireland.

    Bottom line is; Fine Gael/LAbour government is the most corrupt regime ever, and that’s saying something.

  14. Digs

    This is great news. Well done DPP. Cannot simply hold up elected public servants and harass them like that.

    1. Sam

      Ever heard of the Public Order Act?

      Threatening behaviour,
      Refusal to follow lawful directions of An Garda Siochana
      Wilful obstruction of people and traffic.

      all of these could have been used as charges, and dealt with in the district court if charged within 6 months.

      Now, they have to drag them all into the Circuit Court for a jury trial, on over the top charges, which are unlikely to stick.

      I wouldn’t be clapping the DPP on the back for that level of competence.

      1. Sam

        Unless of course, you’re in favour of political prosecutions and the desired effect is a long drawn out prosecution…

    2. ivan

      are you of the opinion that it’s a more serious to hold up ‘public servants’ than anybody else?

      In other words, as I said above, if this was David Drumm, Larry Murphy or anybody else, would you take the same view. I only ask because you specifically stated “Cannot simply hold up elected public servants and harass them like that.”

        1. Fergus the magic postman

          Absolutely. Law states:
          Protesters who are protesting elected representatives (regardless of how badly those representatives are representing) should only protest in a manner that does not inconvenience that public servant.
          The protesters should be as inconspicuous as possible. If possible they should not be seen or heard by the public servant. Ideally the public servant should be entirely unaware that a protest is taking place unless it is
          a) pointed out to them
          or b) the protesters bring a cup of tea and a sandwich to the public servant.

  15. fluffybiscuits

    Political Policing in the extreme, this piece here is worth emphasising

    “hat might seem like the most extreme version of political policing is that there is some direct or indirect political interference: a spoken command or a subtle indication that action must be taken, preferable in a particular way. What is most alarming is that the system of governance of policing in Ireland makes this possible. As it stands the Commissioner is only accountable to government. The Minister for Justice answers whatever questions arise about policing in the Dáil. She also has the power to demand a report on any matter of policing (s.41(2) Garda Síochána Act 2005) and to prevent GSOC from undertaking broader investigations, as occurred in relation to Shell 2 Sea. The relationship between these two office-holders is difficult to scrutinise (as events between Shatter and Callinan display) so it would be difficult to know what has been indicated or requested, directly or indirectly. As things are currently structured the Minister should be asking about developments in cases of public concern but the nature and extent of those communications can be concealed.”

    Power to prevent GSOC carrying out investigations, read that. Irelands very own police body is set up and can be forced to drop investigations on a whim.

    That is a nice set up for political policing….

  16. ollie

    Garda Commissioner, appointed by government, sacked by Taoiseach’s bagman.
    DPP, appointed by government.
    Judges, appointed by government.
    From 2014 “A number of banking trials are pending in 2016, and Ms Loftus added that they were having “major resource implications” for her office”. No issue with resources for water protesters!

    The timing of this leak is very suspect, also there is no hope of anyone appearing in court before the next election.

    Carlsberg don’t do incompetence, but if they did there would be a photo of Enda Kenny on every bottle.

  17. rotide

    Some slack jawed idiot above mentioned ‘this wouldn’t happen in other countries with proper laws’.

    No, no it wouldn’t. Imagine if this was the US. They’d have been shot by police for attacking the VP.

    And you’d all be outraged because they’d probably be black.

  18. Mr. T.

    A people divided is a nation conquered.

    Wise up and see the bigger picture.

    Stop hating your fellow citizens.

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