No Way, We Won’t Pay


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Anti-Austerity Alliance TD Paul Murphy

The Irish Times reports:

Legal aid has been assigned to Anti-Austerity Alliance TD Paul Murphy in relation to his trial on charges of falsely imprisoning Tánaiste Joan Burton during a water charges protest almost 18 months ago.

A trial date has not yet been fixed for Mr Murphy (32), with an address at The Copse, Woodpark, Ballinteer.

…A solicitor acting for Mr Murphy on Thursday said he was making an application for legal aid and handed in a statement of means. He said the State was on notice and had no objection. He said the case could last four to six weeks.

Judge Melanie Greally said based on the average weekly income in the documentation she would assign legal aid. The figures in the documentation were not disclosed in open court.


TD Paul Murphy assigned legal aid for Jobstown protest trial (Irish Times)

Leah Farrell/Rollingnews

93 thoughts on “No Way, We Won’t Pay

  1. The Real Jane

    This is a TD seriously making an application for legal aid based on an inability to pay? I’d say his constituents are delighted.

    1. Tish Mahorey

      If the judge allowed it, it must be within the criteria. And you’d need to be earning a whole lot more than a TD salary to afford your own counsel in a criminal court.

      Most people on criminal charges get legal aid. Hardly anyone could afford their own.

      This is a show trial. Let the state pay for its own vindictiveness. Or send the bill to Joan Burton.

        1. Walter-Ego

          He is claiming the average industrial wage, he is not claiming a full TDs salary. I earn the average wage and if ever it was needed would also claim for legal aid. It’s not like he’s taking a bribe from redacted or anything like that.

          1. Kieran NYC

            Where does his money go then? Does he hand it back to Revenue? Fat chance I reckon.

            Or does he give it to his own party?

            If I earn a million quid and give all but 35k of it to my spouse or to charity, does that mean I earn the average industrial wage?

          2. Walter-Ego

            It is allowed in the rules of the Dail, so why shouldn’t he? If you want to get pedantic about it. We the taxpayers pay for all parties fees.

          3. Kieran NYC

            And so if he gave ALL his money to his party, would a court consider that he’s bankrupt and unable to pay bills? Would he claim the dole?

            Even though he’s getting his full pay cheque handed to him?

          4. Walter-Ego

            I don’t know the answer to that hypothetical question. Maybe you should look up the Dail rules yourself, if you’re that interested. I couldn’t be arsed.

    1. Gordon Matta-Clark

      A predictably vacuous assumption that one’s wealth is based on where they reside – I take it you believe the Kinihans & the Monks are impoverished because they don’t live at what you deem a “nice address”.

      Engage your small brain before trollage, it will go further.

      1. Bertie Blenkinsop

        Well the Monk lives in a lovely house in Clontarf and the Kinihans live in Spanish villas so probably not the best examples there….

        1. Gordon Matta-Clark

          Monk’s brother lived in Ballybough. Kinihan’s scobie underlings and footsoldiers don’t live in the Costa. They live in places that carbonite drone would probably deem “scummy”.

          I’m sure he’d support them getting legal aid on this tenuous assumption.

          1. Vote Rep #1

            I have no idea what exactly your point is but I’d imagine that they live in places like Ballybough because they footsoldiers and therefore do not get a whole lot of money. Crime gangs generally work a crazy system where the lads at a the top of the chain make virtually all the money and therefore get to live in nice places.

  2. ahjayzis

    I assume this is based on the fact that he only gets the average industrial wage into his backpocket – BUT, the remainder of his salary goes to the party organisation. So if I need legal aid in the morning, any level of voluntary donation I decide to make to any organisation can be deducted from my €87,258 salary? Dodgy,

    1. Ger Nalist

      It means the Irish taxpayer is subsidising the Socialist Before Profit Alliance, or whatever it’s called today

          1. Walter-Ego

            All State cases and their legal teams are funded by us the taxpayer no matter who’s in Government? S your point being?

  3. Donger

    Can’t believe I’m the same age as him, in my eyes he’s an aul fella politician and I’m all down with it.

      1. Declan

        Don’t feel so bad, her never actually got elected until Dublin West. He inherited his seats till then

  4. Vote Rep #1

    What is the cut off point for legal aid? If it is greater than a TDs wage, I’d imagine that pretty much everyone before a judge gets legal aid. Reform the legal system. How much is it costing the state?

    1. ahjayzis

      Shatter tried in fairness to him.

      Then ‘clearly’ Francis came along and danced to the jig of the big wigs. But that’s Irish politics ‘clearly’

      1. classter

        I absolutely HATE the way Shatter was monstered for every little mis-step but Fitzgerald gets away with complete inaction.

        The incentives we provide for our public representatives encourage laziness & cute hoorism.

  5. han solo's carbonite dream

    Just want to say farewell to you all . It was fun.
    I won’t be posting here again for a while
    I’m going inside for a bit…

      1. sǝɯǝɯʇɐpɐq

        I’m going = I’m changing me name.

        Anybody who could go would just leave gracefully without telling everybody.
        I fear that ‘han solo’s carbonite nightmare‘ might be back.

        I say ‘Fear’, but it’s just a turn of phrase.
        I fear nothing.
        I’m sǝɯǝɯʇɐpɐq

  6. Jake38

    Further proof, if it was needed, that the sole function of the Irish legal “system” is to enrich lawyers.

  7. DubLoony

    Absolutely stunned by this decision.
    What on earth is the financial criteria?
    If he donates a chunk of his salary to his party, that is his business.
    But is he then expecting taxpayers to fund his case?

    Need a bit of a lie down now, maybe a cup of tea, have a little bit of a cry, sniff… I’ll be ok in a bit, sniff

      1. sǝɯǝɯʇɐpɐq


        I want to say something here that I know will be deleted so I’m not going to say it.

        I’ll just say this;
        Thanks Joan for making Jobstown famous.
        I live there In Jobstown.. Nobody cared about us before now.
        They didn’t know we existed.

        So thanks.
        (I don’t think you’re capable of the ‘joined-up thinking’ you used to talk about, but sure that was years ago. Nobody else remembers it. You’re playing a blinder!)

        But that joke I want to make….the one I know for certain will get me banned forever….I’m trying to forget it.
        It was REALLY bad.
        You inspire me.

        1. sǝɯǝɯʇɐpɐq

          -Remember, he word ‘stroke rhymes with the word joke.
          You could do one of your limericks.

  8. Anomanomanom

    So a very wealthy man is granted legal aid. He’s on what about €98,000 and he gets legal aid. He gets the FULL td wages what he chooses to do with it is his business. Also how much would he have to actually spend since TDs get fantastic allowances.

    1. Walter-Ego

      He is only claiming the average industrial wage. He is not taking full TDs pay. Therefore he is entitled to take legal aid, the same as anyone on the average industrial wage, including myself. It is his right.

  9. murphyp

    Murphy is the son of a business executive. He attended a private fee paying school in South Dublin. He was paid €1,343,117 in salary and expenses when he was appointed an MEP to replace Joe Higgins – without being elected. He is 33

    He is accused of falsely imprisoning a 67 year old woman.

    Burton was an abandoned child, brought up in a convent and adopted by a working class family in Rialto.

    It is most important that the state pays Murphy a large sum of money to help his legal costs because he is the real victim in all this.

    1. Gordon Matta-Clark

      Joan gets paid more than Murphy. What exactly is your point? Does the background of an aggrieved party have any bearing on whether the alleged aggressor is entitled to legal aid? Bizarre stuff.

  10. Rugbyfan

    We pay his lawyer’s fees!
    What a fuppin joker!
    hope he is found guilty and does some porridge!

    1. Owen O'F

      Are you actually a bot being trialled out by an undergrad student somewhere? It’s the only explanation that makes sense.

  11. Rainy Day

    The problem here isn’t Mr. Murphy. The problem is that someone on 87,000 euro per year requires state assistance to defend himself in a court. The fees charged by barristers and solicitors necessitate this assistance. That is the problem.
    The State (you and I) are left paying the said fees through the legal aid system.

    1. Rob

      No, the problem is that someone on 87k gets state aid.

      It is easily enough to pay criminal lawyers.

    2. Junkface

      Irelands legal system is corrupt and extortionate. We need to tear it down. Legal fees, legal fees, legal fees, no matter what happens there’s tonnes of legal fees.

  12. Vanessa

    A charge of false imprisonment with a grinning woman, sat on her bottom, in a chaffeured vehicle, surrounded by garda , yakking on a mobile phone and smiling for tv cameras is proof of our farcical justice system. Counteract it by charges of wasting garda time and put their efforts into solving 60 odd unsolved murders.

  13. Truth in the News

    Precisely how was Burton falsey detained in the vehicle, did the protestors
    lock her inside, had they keys of vehicle, were they in control of it…?
    This is going to be an interesting day in court if it ever gets that far, Burton
    and her party have being taught a lesson, one sure hopes she blusters on
    in her red coat as she will wipe out the remmants of what’s left and they aint from
    the left

    1. Daisy Chainsaw

      I hope Murphy is going to call every single garda that was on duty as a witness for the defence. They stood by and did nothing to move the car, allowing it to be stuck there for all that time.

      1. Rob_G

        What would you have the Gardaí do – baton the protesters until they got out of the way? No doubt you would be the first complaining about police brutality if that had have happened.

        (For the record, that would have been my preferred course of action).

  14. Eoin

    So we’re going to attack the victim of political policing now for claiming legal aid? Seriously? Joan Burton is using the state against him so why shouldn’t he use the state to defend himself? He’s facing ridiculous politically motivated charges anyway. None of this should be happening in a first world western nation. Why is the blatant political policing not the story? Perhaps because it’s something we don’t want to acknowledge? That political policing exists here.

      1. Owen C

        The alleged political policing is just that – an allegation, and one so far without any evidence.

        A TD earning 80k or so in receipt of legal aid is an actual story and fact. That’s why people are talking about it. Welcome to the real world.

    1. classter

      Both are stories.

      IMO the charge is nonsense.

      But legal aid for a guy who (like it or not) is in the 5% of top earners in Ireland, before you consider family welath etc., is rather newsworthy.

  15. Eoin

    He’s going on trial for ‘wrongful imprisonment’. You think that’s an accurate assessment of what happened that day? Nobody with a half a brain does. So why is it being pushed so far? Because of his political position. Nothing else. If you don’t think political policing has existed in Ireland since the founding of the state then….just go back to sleep. Go away. Seriously. You’re beyond help.

    1. MoyestWithExcitement

      You’re talking to someone who thinks they can lecture actual Syrians about Arabic culture. Don’t worry about him. Nobody else does.

      1. Owen C

        Actual Syrians? As opposed to wannabe ones?

        Anyway, i didn’t lecture them on Arabic Culture. I lectured them on the purpose of the Leaving Cert Arabic Exam. Which are actual different things. All vent, no substance, thats the Moyestie way…

    2. Owen C

      Eoin. I doubt it’s an accurate assessment of what happened that day. But lets look at the flipside – do you think some laws were broken that day? I personally am pretty sure some laws were broken that day, even if minor in nature, so the DPP taking some form of action does not seem like such a crazy suggestion. A fine or something would probably suffice, with the issue being recorded formally and so able to be used should any future issues arise from Mr Murphy. But if the DPP felt that an actual serious crime was committed, should they feel that they can’t progress it into a full court case? Lots of cases go before the courts. Some end up with guilty verdicts. Some end up with not guilty verdicts. Some collapse or are dismissed even before a verdict can be made. Take the Sean Fitzpatrick one last year – if you were familiar with the actual facts of the case, and the background to the industry, it was obvious he was not guilty of the charges as they were levied against him. But I think we all agreed it was important Seanie was brought before the courts to answer for what happened at Anglo. Similarly, the ‘civil disobedience’ style actions of anti austerity supporters is viewed as a negative and unacceptable from many parts of Irish society, and seeing a case go before the courts is in the interests of justice from that perspective.

  16. Truth in the News

    Who appoints any member of the Gardai above the rank of Inspector
    the Goverment, how many members of the current Garda were appointed
    to their positions of Superintendent by the Government composed of Kenny
    Gilmore and Burton over the last five years…..are there any Officers so elevated
    now connected with this case…..if people have not discoverred that political
    policing did not exist till now, they must be asleep, it has a long history in Ireland
    north and south both with RIC and the police structures that came after them
    RUC-PSNI and Gardai.

  17. Eoin

    Well I think there was a protest that amounted to a sit down behind a ministers car. Much worse things have happened in the name of protest over the years. and obviously the law feels it can proceed with a prosecution of some sort. But the charges are way outta line. They are ‘example making’ charges. False imprisonment carries a max life sentence. This is where the political policing rears it’s head. It’s more about the severity of the charge. The best thing Burton could have done was to ignore the protests. As it is she’s given Murphy a forum. And what if he gets jailed? What then? The message to protesters is ‘we’ll jail you for even the most superficial civil disobedience’. Now that attitude is asking for trouble. People in general are extremely angry out there and the state waving a fist at them in this fashion is not a good idea at all. So maybe Murphy will get railroaded totally legally all the way to prison, and the talking heads will be satisfied that a dangerous man has been removed from our streets. Maybe for life? This is a big miscalculation from the people who gave us Irish Water, amongst other miscalculations. Murphy and co were protesting on behalf of a hell of a lot of people out there, including meself. Had I been there I’d be facing jail now too. Maybe jail for life. It makes me furious. I will NEVER miss another protest again here. I don’t want Ireland to be a politically policed state (anymore).

    1. Owen C

      “It’s more about the severity of the charge. The best thing Burton could have done was to ignore the protests.”

      So something which you admit *may* be illegal (at some level) occurs. And you think the person who suffers from this should ignore it? Not exactly the way a system of justice should work.

      The rest of your argument is incredibly incoherent. The only way Murphy can be “railroaded legally” is if a jury of his peers convicts him. But that can only happen if they feel there is merit in the charges? If you said the point of this process was “to make an example of him”, I’d disagree with you but accept that your suggestion had potentially some merit. But to then make this about how he might go to jail etc, thats ridiculous. You eithe accept the will of the people via the courts, or you don’t and accept only what you want to. Its either political policing and there is no merit in the charges and no chance of jail, or there is actual merit in the charges and then the DPP are well within their rights to bring the case to court.

  18. Eoin

    You ever done anything illegal Owen C? Ever downloaded a movie online? Ever made a copy of an album you like? How would you like 15 years for one of those minor crimes? I don’t know if anything actually illegal happened at that protest. I’ve heard there was a sit down behind the minsters car. That does not sound like law breaking to me. But if it is, and lets say there was a law broken that day, then what should the penalty be? A fine and a slap on the wrist or a costly very public trial that has a max sentence of LIFE? Which one seems more appropriate? Common sense would say the former. Yet we have the latter. So we must look for a reason for this heavy handedness. And the only obvious reason is political. You see the only law that comes close to what happened (and it’s nowhere close from what I’ve heard) is unlawful imprisonment. So do we stretch the truth and go for the severe prosecution or do we just drop it? They went for the big prosecution. They probably didn’t really think it through. Let me say it again. If you railroad protesters with charges that can result in life sentences, for civil disobedience you get more civil disobedience. and you get martyrs everywhere. Until you back down. Because there is now a perceived injustice at work in the system. That’s how it has always worked out. That’s why I think it’s a daft move to go after Murphy and the Jobstown protesters like this. Aside from the fact that’s it’s morally wrong to abuse the law in this fashion. Anyway, nice work Joan. I’d say you’ve woken half the nation up to existence of political policing here now.

    1. Owen C

      Ok, lets play your game. Whats the maximum sentence on manslaughter? Life imprisonment. Whats the minimum? A fine. If we took a manslaughter case against someone where there was a real element of deliberate homicide involved, would we say “oh, they’re only bringing this case forward so they can give them a slap on the wrists and a fine!”. Likewise, if a genuine case of accidental death happened in a car accident, would we say “this is a massive overreaction, she might get life in jail if she’s convicted!”. No, because only an idiot would make that sort of argument. Let me say this clearly – Paul Murphy is not going to jail for life. If this is the crux of your argument, you are an alarmist shrill idiot who believes that are judges are in cahoots with the government over this issue. If you genuinely think that, political policing is really the least of our worries.

      Here is reality rather than the hyperbole you are arguing via – Paul Murphy will not go to jail for the crime of false imprisonment. Deal with the fact that he didn’t really think through the protest against Joan Burton and thought he was some sort of Ghandi like character who would see the people rally to his cause. He’s not. People fighting against austerity and water charges are not some downtrodden second class citizens. They are simply people who disagree with government policy and have taken to civil disobedience to argue against it. Unfortunately, in a Western democracy with a strong system of law and order, that comes with consequences.

  19. Eoin

    Manslaughter is not a fair example to use. Nobody was killed in Jobstown. The MAX penalty for the civil disobedience that occurred that day should be a slap on the wrist. Not a 15 year jail sentence. But there’s no law to cover that I assume. That’s why they’ve gotta to go to the more severe charge of false imprisonment. And I’m sure it’s about sending a message to any future would be protesters. An abuse of power and an abuse of the law.

    1. Owen C

      Manslaughter is a fair example to use. False imprisonment could be something as simple a domestic abuse situation where a husband wasn’t letting his wife leave the house. No threats involved, just sitting in front of the door and refusing to let her leave. I assume we are not suggesting life imprisonment as a correct sentence in this situation? Likewise it could be something far more threatening or sinister in nature involving threats of violence or death, a terrorist with a bomb or a gun to someone’s head, for instance. A life sentence in that situation may be appropriate. It is up to the courts to decide where the offence lies on that spectrum. They do this all the time with broad ranging crimes such as manslaughter where the minimum and maximum sentences are quite far ranging.

  20. Eoin

    ‘False imprisonment could…’ Have to stop you there. Of course it could be anything up to and including kidnapping. But it’s not an appropriate charge for what happened in Jobstown.

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