‘A Very Difficult And Unpleasant Situation’

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Joan Burton

Further to the trial of a 17-year-old youth, charged with the false imprisonment of former Tanaiste Joan Burton and her advisor Karen O’Connell in Jobstown, Dublin in November 2014, getting under way in the Children’s Court this morning…

RTÉ’s Legal Affairs Correspondent Orla O’Donnell reported on RTÉ’s Radio One’s News At One:

“Joan Burton told the court that being trapped in Garda vehicles on the 15th of November, 2014, was a very difficult and unpleasant situation. Ms Burton said she had received a warm welcome when she first arrived at An Cosán in Jobstown for a graduation ceremony. She said as they walked from the centre to an adjacent church, she was hit twice on the neck by some kind of water balloon and a young man was holding a camera in front of her face and saying, ‘talk to us, Joan’. She said she was anxious to continue her duties.”

“In the church, after giving her speech, she was advised to make haste to a Garda car which was going to drive her and her advisor, Karen O’Connell, away. She said there were people shouting and banging on the car, she said she was trying to keep her composure and was worried about children who were around the car.”

“She said that protesters were shouting a lot of vulgar abuse and using all the derogatory terms people use for women. Ms Burton said she was very apprehensive about what would happen to her if the crowd got the doors of the car open and she was looking around to see where she could run to. She said, after some time, they were moved to another car by gardai. They were later moved again and she said she flung herself into a Garda vehicle. She said afterwards she felt happy no children had been hurt and very happy to be safe and out of the car.”

Joan Burton gives evidence in case against teen accused of false imprisonment (RTE)

Earlier: Meanwhile, At The Children’s Court

Rollingnews.ie

UPDATE:

171 thoughts on “‘A Very Difficult And Unpleasant Situation’

    1. Sheik Yahbouti

      I imagine it was a “difficult and unpleasant situation” for those who rocked up to receive their well earned Diplomas and Certificates only to be confronted by iPhone Joan, beside the foodbank her Government and party had rendered necessary. Incidentally, how come Zappone has escaped criticism in this matter? She was behind this ‘invitation’ that nobody gave.

    1. ahjayzis

      I just wanted to CONTINUE MY DUTIES.

      Not go home and wash off the water balloon and get into my jammies and bitch about it over tea like a human being, but to CONTINUE MY DUTIES. Because politician me is.

      1. Nigel

        But she did go about her duties. Whatever else you might say about her, she earned her pay that day, for all that it was in service to a deplorable disaster of a policy. I know I’d just want to run away crying, but after being hit twice and confronted with an incredibly hostile and angry crowd, she did, in fact, carry on and go about her duties. If this is the level at which we’re critiquing either the court case in particular and the implementation of water charges in general we deserve everything we get.

        1. Ricky Ricardo

          I’ll grant you it was probably a highly unpleasant experience for Joan. The fact that protesters were screaming sexist abuse at her is inexcusable. Conceivably, those who threw the two water balloons could be charged with assault.

          But outside of that, where is the crime? The electorate were angry. They expressed that anger. It inconvenienced Joan and was likely personally upsetting. Outside of the balloons thrown, though, I cannot comprehend how any other criminal charges can be filed against the protesters.

          1. Nigel

            I think if a hostile mob of people surrounded your car and started banging on your windows screaming abuse you’d probably feel you were the victim of some sort of crime. I can’t comment on what the charges might be or whether the person on trial is guilty or a scapegoat but I do think that if no criminal charges could possibly be brought against people who did that to me it’d be a pretty big gap in the law codes.

          2. ahjayzis

            I wonder if her security detail don’t deserve some of the blame.

            The Secret Service can I think nix a candidates plans if they feel the risk is too much.
            Surely Burton visiting the heart of one of the communities she raked over the coals under Enda’s orders must’ve raised a red flag with the guards. The guards who stood by while she was ‘imprisoned unlawfully’ for hours on end?

            I do feel for her though, it did look like a horrendous experience. And from footage the protesters didn’t acquit themselves or their cause well.

          3. Nigel

            The real irony was that they’d been using the ‘we know people are hurting out there’ rhetoric for a while, but the idea that the hurt could turn into anger seemed, and still seems, alien to them.

        2. Kennysmells

          What do you know; wherer there is a woman in distress, there is NIgel; First it was Hillary and now its Joan. Well done Nigel you saint

          1. Nigel

            I’d like to thank all the toxic, idiotic misogynists and their enablers, who occasionally give me the cherished opportunity to defend people to whom I am otherwise ambivalent at best,. What would we do without them? Besides have informed and substantive debates about political issues, that is.

          1. MoyestWithExcitement

            Nothing. So you agree the abuse is irrelevant to the charges and mentioning them is an attempt to obsfucate the issue with a ‘The protestors are awful people’ narrative?

          2. Nigel

            I don’t think it’s obfuscating anything to suggest that people who scream sexist abuse at a woman are awful people. Is it obfuscation to dismiss sexist abuse because you don’t like the woman being targeted?

          3. MoyestWithExcitement

            No it isn’t. You say it’s not obsfucation to talk about the protesters shouting abuse. Perhaps you could explain why shouting abuse is relevant to a false imprisonment charge.

          4. Nigel

            It’s not obfuscation because I wasn’t talking about the false imprisonment charge. I was talking about the sexist abuse, specifically the responses here to Bruton’s testimony about being subject to sexist abuse, even more specifically to the sexist abuse in the comment I replied to. I suspect it’s important for the people supporting the protestors to diminish and dismiss the verbal abuse she was subjected to because it makes them look so bloody awful, and contributes to the idea that the crowd was aggressive and belligerent and that she felt threatened and scared and upset and unable to leave the car safely, but that’s pure, mad, off-the-wall speculation on my part.

          5. MoyestWithExcitement

            “I was talking about the sexist abuse, specifically the responses here to Bruton’s testimony about being subject to sexist abuse”

            If you look back, you will see that I assumed/asked if you agreed with me if it was obsfucation. Obviously I wasn’t talking about you. The sexist abuse has nothing to do with false imprisonment so Joan mentioning it in her testimony IS obsfucation as her goal is to emotionally manipulate people by painting herself as a cowering victim of a baying, sub human mob.

            “I suspect it’s important for the people supporting the protestors to diminish and dismiss the verbal abuse she was subjected to”

            I suspect it’s important for Labour/FG members and employees to highlight the abuse as they realise the charge itself is an absolute disgrace and the only way to distract people from it is to paint the protesters as bad people because emotive narrative beats objective fact.

          6. Nigel

            Unless she was lying she is presumably entirely within her rights to do so, since it is relevant to the mood and behaviour of the crowd and to how it affected her. Trying to insist otherwise is at best wishful thinking, at worst, cynically partisan. In legal and PR terms it was an absolute own goal. Supporters who would otherwise deplore such behaviour, especially directed at a woman seem committed to defending or dismissing it. At length. Apparently one cannot even comment that it was deplorable behaviour without confrontation.

          7. MoyestWithExcitement

            “Unless she was lying she is presumably entirely within her rights to do so, ”

            That’s just a strawman. I never said her dirty, manipulative tactics were illegal.

            “In legal and PR terms it was an absolute own goal.”

            That doesn’t sound unlike concern trolling. ‘Sure, I support abortion but you liberals and hippies are being so aggressive you’re risking your campaign.’

            “Apparently one cannot even comment that it was deplorable behaviour without confrontation.”

            That’s another right wing tactic actually; when you can’t defend your position, make out the person questioning you is somewhat emotional and that you’re a victim. You’re not making much of a case, Nigel.

          8. Nigel

            ‘Dirty manipulative tactics.’

            How dare that woman talk about how she was subjected to sexist abuse? You can blame me for ‘concern trolling’ all you want, but I think you managed to put yourself in this position, not me.

            ‘‘Sure, I support abortion but you liberals and hippies are being so aggressive you’re risking your campaign.’’

            Maybe surrounding a car and banging on the windows is a defensible tactic, maybe it isn’t – my guess is they just wanted to do the sit-down but never had any real control over the crowd. However there’s a reason why one is regarded as a more effective tactic than the other. But I cannot and will not defend or be associated with sexist abuse, and that would be true regardless of whether charges were brought or not. And actually, the correct thing to do is not hard. Organisers say they regret it and will try to ensure it doesn’t happen again, defenders say it was regrettable and move on, focusing on the charges themselves. You, on the other hand, are doing it wrong, keeping attention focused on the verbal abuse because you simply cannot concede that the crowd behaved undeniably badly in this particular instance.

            ‘You’re not making much of a case, Nigel.’

            The only case I have to make, and the only case I am making, is that she was subjected to sexist abuse, and I am not impressed by comments dismissing, defending or joining in with it. It’s a rather simple and straightforward position and consistent with my own personal beliefs and it is a bit odd to suddenly find that it is a right wing one

          9. MoyestWithExcitement

            “How dare that woman talk about how she was subjected to sexist abuse?”

            Indeed. It is irrelevant to her trial and as such is an attempt to manipulate the jurors and public. We don’t even know if it’s true. Shameful.

            “Maybe surrounding a car and banging on the windows is a defensible tactic, maybe it isn’t”

            Tactic? Jesus. Maybe it was a spontaneous expression of righteous rage against someone who thinks poor people aren’t poor if they own a smartphone? They banged on her car window and shouted at her. FFS.

            “You, on the other hand, are doing it wrong, keeping attention focused on the verbal abuse because you simply cannot concede that the crowd behaved undeniably badly in this particular instance.”

            Oh, ok. So you and Joan can spin a narrative to paint the protesters as bad people in order to justify this disgraceful trial and the best thing I can do if I have an issue with that is keep my mouth shut. Interesting. Insulting to my intelligence but interesting.

            “It’s a rather simple and straightforward position and consistent with my own personal beliefs and it is a bit odd to suddenly find that it is a right wing one”

            Great, except I never said attacking sexism is right wing. I said your attempts to paint me as emotional for questioning you coupled with making yourself out to be a victim of that ’emotional’ ‘confrontation’ was right wing. But you knew that. It’s not unlike the other theme here ‘Don’t look at the facts or question why this trial is happening, everyone. Just know the protesters were all angry and aggressive just like most subhuman poor people so you feel sorry for and support me.’

          10. Nigel

            ‘It is irrelevant to her trial and as such is an attempt to manipulate the jurors and public. We don’t even know if it’s true. Shameful.’

            You’re suggesting not just that she’s lying, but that she’s lying under oath, which is a very serious charge. A woman talking about receiving sexist abuse is either lying or manipulative. How did you tie yourself into this knot?

            ‘They banged on her car window and shouted at her. FFS.’

            Yes, they did. Who knew that that kind of behaviour might incur criminal charges? Crazy, right?

            ‘the best thing I can do if I have an issue with that is keep my mouth shut. Interesting. Insulting to my intelligence but interesting.’

            It’s not so much an insult to your intelligence as an objective assessment of your debating skills and of the desirability of having someone who argues the way you do on the same side.

            ‘I said your attempts to paint me as emotional for questioning you coupled with making yourself out to be a victim of that ’emotional’ ‘confrontation’ was right wing.’

            I’m not painting you as emotional. I’m painting you, or rather you are painting yourself, as not very good at this. You can admit the behaviour was bad and move on to the substantive issue, or you can insist that people who acknowledge that the behaviour was bad are regarding the crowd as ‘subhuman poor.’ One gets to the substantive issue of the charges, one keeps the attention focused on the bad behaviour. I’d doubt that there are many regular Broadsheet readers who will be surprised at the route you take.

          11. MoyestWithExcitement

            “How did you tie yourself into this knot?”

            By suggesting Joan might be lying in order to gain support for this joke of a trial. I’ve said ot several times now despite your dishonest attempts at spinning what I’m saying.

            “Who knew that that kind of behaviour might incur criminal charges”

            Charges of false imprisonment? Not me nor anyone else sane.

            “It’s not so much an insult to your intelligence as an objective assessment of your debating skills and of the desirability of having someone who argues the way you do on the same side.”

            And now you want to make it personal. You’re genuinely arguing like a very articulate child here.

            “I’d doubt that there are many regular Broadsheet readers who will be surprised at the route you take.”

            That’s super but I’m not trying to put on a show for the crowd as you evidently are. You’re not putting on a very good one either. I’m sure they’ll notice how you lied and obsfucated and got personal in order to “win” an Internet argument. I’m just talking to *you* though

          12. Nigel

            ‘I’ve said ot several times now despite your dishonest attempts at spinning what I’m saying.’

            It was a rhetorical question. it’s pretty clear how you got yourself in the position of attacking a woman for talking about being the victim of sexist abuse, I just wanted to highlight it.

            ‘Charges of false imprisonment? Not me nor anyone else sane.’

            Provide me with a link to compelling qualified opinion saying as much and I’ll even high-five you in agreement.

            ‘very articulate’

            I’m genuinely touched. Thank you.

            ‘I’m just talking to *you* though’

            It’s not exactly one of the great Socratic dialogues, that’s for sure/.

          13. MoyestWithExcitement

            “It was a rhetorical question. it’s pretty clear how you got yourself in the position of attacking a woman for talking about being the victim of sexist abuse, I just wanted to highlight it.”

            Yes, you said that in your last post. If you can write that twice, I can give the same response twice. Your attempts at spinning my several times stated musing that a politician might be lying or embellishing the truth to gain support are noted.

            “Provide me with a link to compelling qualified opinion saying as much and I’ll even high-five you in agreement.”

            Right after you provide me with an example or two of a disruptive public protest resulting in dawn raids and trials for false imprisonment.

          14. Nigel

            ‘Your attempts at spinning my several times stated musing that a politician might be lying or embellishing the truth to gain support are noted.’

            Your notational notating of my notable notions has been noted for annotation.

            ‘Right after you provide me with an example or two of a disruptive public protest resulting in dawn raids and trials for false imprisonment.’

            Why?

          15. MoyestWithExcitement

            Because without any, charging false imprisonment in this one can be judged to be highly unusual and warrants scrutiny/suspicion.

          16. Nigel

            Okay, but why ask me? I’m not arguing otherwise. I am ready to be persuaded by the incisive qualified commentary you seem incapable of providing.

          17. MoyestWithExcitement

            Ok. The word unusual is used when we observe something that that doesn’t happen very often. For instance, interesting and coherent perspectives from your good self have never happened so if you were to provide some, we would call that unusual. Seeing as to the best of our collective knowledge, disruptive public protests have not previously ended in trial for false imprisonment so we would also regard that as unusual. It has the same meaning as the word ‘uncommon’ if you’re familiar with that one.

          18. Nigel

            Still not sure what any of that has to do with my inquiry as to whether you had any links to informed opinions based on professional expertise.

          19. MoyestWithExcitement

            I said using false imprisonment charges here was unusual. You said you weren’t arguing otherwise and were open to being educated on the matter. I could only deduce you did not understood the word ‘unusual’ so like the chirpy little flower and good citizen that I am, I offered you an understanding of the word. What’s the problem?

  1. scottser

    so what is the actual evidence against the 17 year old? the ‘victim’ hasn’t identified him as a protagonist so far..

    1. Jake38

      You could define it as being falsely imprisoned.

      Or just as being surrounded by a sea of screaming skangers.

      I’d go for option no 2.

    2. Harry Molloy

      Some of the case law around false imprisonment is actually really interesting.

      For example, shop security and bouncers have been prosecuted by telling people they can’t leave a room.

      You don’t think of it in terms of handcuffs and a cell, more that it is depriving someone of their constitutional right to free movement and liberty

  2. Brother Barnabas

    “and was looking around to see where she could run to”

    Would have loved to see that…like an arthritic penguin at the best of times.

  3. Anomanomanom

    No of that really happened, sure they all just sat down while protesting. They probably had tea and just talked barely above indoor voice levels addressing Joan. Sure Paul Murphy said it was all peaceful

  4. Nigel

    I didn’t realise it was not a crime to surround a car and bang on the windows yelling abuse at the person inside. Or that it couldn’t be frightening or upsetting. But we don’t like her so she couldn’t possibly be having a human reaction or possibly be concerned about young people in an angry crowd verbally and physically assaulting her vehicle. And characterising some of the abuse as sexist! the nerve! Sexist abuse is fine so long as it is directed at a woman you really really don’t like.

      1. Nigel

        No you can’t! It’s utterly impossible! The concept doesn’t exist! You assault people, castles, cities, desserts and peanuts but nobody could ever or has ever in the history of vehicular warfare ever assaulted a vehicle!

        1. Nigel

          I think, on reflection, I will leave the platonic perfection of “Mechanophilia man caught having sex with car exhaust in Brazil” unsullied by base reality.

    1. Ronan

      +1

      The moral principles that otherwise decent people are willing to abandon in favour of their staunch opposition to water charges is baffling to me.

      1. ahjayzis

        Oh come on.

        They were clearly enraged, in a blind rage even.

        But over water charges in isolation? Not the self-professed left winger from the Labour party four years into one of the most regressively right-wing governments we’ve had in living memory? Not the plethora of cuts to lone parents, job seekers, child benefit, housing assistance she personally signed? After campaigning to not do so?

        Nah, sure it was only De Waher. Sure what else have the people of Jobstown have to put up with.

    2. The Real Jane

      Absolutely. I find the refusal to understand that this was actually a pretty awful incident for her and whatever you think of water charges, pretty frightening.

      Her main crime seems to be being unpopular. And because she’s not well-liked, it doesn’t matter what happens to her.

      1. Ricky Ricardo

        But is it a crime? Yes, it was undoubtedly an unpleasant experience for her but there was nothing criminal, that I can see, in the protest, at least not to the extent of false imprisonment charges. The fact that this particular charge has been levied against the protesters makes a mockery of what is a very serious charge.

        1. The Real Jane

          I amn’t familiar enough with the ins and outs of the criminal code to know, but I suspect the courts will be in a position to determine that.

          It’s the shrugging and gloating I object to.

        2. marge

          oh look we got a judge here, oh no wait you aren’t, just some bottomhole on the net, let’s wait until the judiciary has decided whether this was a crime or not?

          1. Ricky Ricardo

            @marge A bottomhole? That’s lovely.

            But yes. Let’s all base our assessments of morality and ethics; political policing; and appropriate punishment for sitting in front of a car on what the judiciary tell us. Sounds like a solid plan.

            Does this actually look like false imprisonment to you in all seriousness? Have you looked up any other cases of that charge and what the crime committed entailed?

      2. ahjayzis

        Her main crime seems to be being unpopular….

        …due to promising people exactly like those involved in Jobstown one thing, giving them hope at a very grim time for them and their families – then getting into power and spending five years systematically reducing their living standards with a smirk.

        It’s a very old lesson – if you out and out betray people’s trust and go after them, quit thinking you can use their community as some supine backdrop for publicity.

    3. MoyestWithExcitement

      “I didn’t realise it was not a crime to surround a car and bang on the windows yelling abuse at the person inside.”

      Is that crime really false imprisonment? For getting angry at a politician who sneered at protesters previously and helped reduce their standard of living? False imprisonment?

      1. Nigel

        I don’t know what it ‘really’ is, but I’d be more surprising if it turned out to be no crime at all. Shocked, actually.

        1. MoyestWithExcitement

          Ok, well the charge is ‘really’ false imprisonment. It looks like you’re arguing that because the protesters looked all angry and scarey that they *must* be charged with *something* so it’s perfectly ok to charge them with false imprisonment. Is that what you’re arguing?

          1. Nigel

            I’m arguing that if you surround a car banging on the doors and windows and screaming abuse then it would be more shocking if it turned out you weren’t committing a crime.

          2. MoyestWithExcitement

            They’re being charged with false imprisonment. Not sure what banging on windows and “screaming abuse” has to do with the charge. Do you regard it as proper that they are on trial for false imprisonment?

          3. Nigel

            I’m simply not qualified to comment, and you haven’t made a compelling case that surrounding a car and impeding its progress and displaying overt physical aggression at the person inside does or could not come under the legal definition of False Imprisonment. You simply assert that it is a ridiculous charge on its face, while the DPP thinks otherwise. I’ll wait for Legal Coffee Drinker to weigh in, unless they have already and I missed it.

          4. MoyestWithExcitement

            It sounds like you’re ok with people who took part in a sit down protest being put on trial for it because they shouted and looked angry. That’s seriously what it looks like. And you’re “reserving judgement” until a solicitor pops up to validate the judgement you’ve clearly already made. This is a moral argument, not an argument about legal definitions. That’s a complete cop out on your part.

          5. MoyestWithExcitement

            Could you also explain why you regard the shouting of abuse as being relevant to a FALSE IMPRISONMENT trial?

          6. Nigel

            I’m okay with people who surrounded a car banging on the windows and doors shouting abuse at the occupant being put on trial. Pretending I’m saying anything else is a lie.

            Personally I think baldly asserting uninformed conclusions as facts is far more immoral than not.

          7. Nigel

            You don’t think threatening behaviour, such a s a group of people yelling verbal abuse, might be relevant? If you had a case as to why the charge is ridiculous and/or politically motivated, you’d be making it. Maybe somebody, somewhere is. You’re not. You’re too busy dismissing and minimising awful behaviour.

          8. MoyestWithExcitement

            “I’m okay with people who surrounded a car banging on the windows and doors shouting abuse at the occupant being put on trial.”

            On trial for what, though? Anything just as long as they’re on trial?

            “Personally I think baldly asserting uninformed conclusions as facts is far more immoral than not.”

            So maybe stop doing it?

          9. MoyestWithExcitement

            “You don’t think threatening behaviour, such a s a group of people yelling verbal abuse, might be relevant?”

            Implying I should regard it as relevant is not explaining how it’s relevant. Are you not able to explain why it’s relevant?

            “If you had a case as to why the charge is ridiculous and/or politically motivated, you’d be making it.”

            They’re on trial for FALSE IMPRISONMENT after taking part in a sit down protest and it’s ON CAMERA.

            “You’re too busy dismissing and minimising awful behaviour.”

            Because you’re keeping me busy with your attempts to paint government protesters as bad people for getting angry and shouting because emotive narratives beat facts.

          10. Nigel

            On trial for false imprisonment, which is either a viable and relevant charge or it’s not. You’re not making a case either way, you;re just asserting that it can’t be.

            Yes, why WOULD threatening and aggressive behaviour be regarded as relevant as part of a witness statement given in a false imprisonment trial? That’s a conundrum all right.

            ‘So maybe stop doing it?’

            What’s this in reference to? Please quote me directly rather than wildly paraphrasing.

            ‘m perfectly okay with painting people who scream sexist abuse at a woman as bad people, or at least as people behaving badly, since my sense is that this is something that got completely out of hand with organisers and security both in disarray.. I’m even okay with painting people who defend or dismiss sexist abuse because it was directed at someone they don’t like as bad people, or as people behaving badly. If my good opinion is that important to you, change your behaviour. Otherwise, carry on.

          11. MoyestWithExcitement

            “You’re not making a case either way, you;re just asserting that it can’t be.”

            Uh huh. I already said this is a moral argument and not a legal one. There is camera footage of the incident available. You can view it if you’re actually interested in what happened.

            “Yes, why WOULD threatening and aggressive behaviour be regarded as relevant as part of a witness statement given in a false imprisonment trial? That’s a conundrum all right.”

            I asked you why you regarded the shouting of abuse and banging of windows is relevant to a false imprisonment charge. Sarcastically repeating my question is not answering it just like implying I should just find it relevant like you tried previously. That’s twice you responded to my question without actually answering it. Is that because you can’t?

            “What’s this in reference to?”

            You asserting Joan’s testimony as fact. You literally saying the protesters are bad people. You asseting that the shouting of abuse is relevant without explaining why after being asked twice, choosing instead to give non answers in the hope they’d suffice.

            “If my good opinion is that important to you, change your behaviour. Otherwise, carry on.”

            You’re giving your opinion in a public forum for opinions. If you don’t like to be questioned, maybe consider spending your time on something else.

          12. Nigel

            ‘I already said this is a moral argument and not a legal one.’
            ‘I asked you why you regarded the shouting of abuse and banging of windows is relevant to a false imprisonment charge.’

            It seems to be a moral argument when you want it to be and a legal argument when it want to be. I note that you made neither a legal nor a moral case for anything, and when you cut through the internet debating tactics, all you’re saying is that you don’t like attention being drawn to the bad behaviour of the crowd. You’re caught between barely being able to admit that the crowd behaved badly at all, and demanding to know what the bad behaviour of the crowd has to do with anything. The moral argument is that bad behaviour is bad behaviour. The legal argument is not one I am qualified to make. If you have a good source for discussing why it is or isn’t relevant, I would be glad to read it. If you haven’t, then I’m not sure why I should take your assertions that it can’t be relevant any more seriously than you should take arguments from me as to why it should.

            ‘You asserting Joan’s testimony as fact.’

            She’s at risk pf perjury charges otherwise. You are the first person I have encountered to suggest she might be lying.

            ‘You literally saying the protesters are bad people.’

            I am certainly saying that some of the protesters behaved very badly.

            ‘You asseting that the shouting of abuse is relevant without explaining why after being asked twice, choosing instead to give non answers in the hope they’d suffice.’

            How relevant it is remains to be seen. As far as I can tell there was no compelling reason to omit it from her testimony, therefore it clearly has some relevance. if you want a more detailed legal analysis, you’re barking up the wrong tree. I suspect you do not want a detailed legal analysis, otherwise you would be badgering someone who is actually qualified.

          13. MoyestWithExcitement

            “It seems to be a moral argument when you want it to be and a legal argument when it want to be.”

            So now you’ve decided that lying is the best option for you.

            “I note that you made neither a legal nor a moral case for anything”

            Do you really need someone to explain why some might take issue with sit down protesters being charged with false imprisonment?

            “all you’re saying is that you don’t like attention being drawn to the bad behaviour of the crowd.”

            And again, you’ve chosen to lie, this time by omission, about my position instead of making a coherent counterpoint. What I don’t like, and have said a number of times, is the attempt to distract people from the validity of the trial and gain support by spinning an emotive narrative.

            “If you have a good source for discussing why it is or isn’t relevant, I would be glad to read it”

            Is this you admitting you have no idea if the shouting of abuse is relevant to a false imprisonment trial then, despite twice implying that it was relevant when questioned? It is, isn’t it.

            “She’s at risk pf perjury charges otherwise.”

            Right yeah, cause they won’t just take her word for it and will run the audio from the tapes through the biggest graphic equaliser they can find to isolate every voice to check what every protester shouted IN THIS FALSE IMPRISONMENT TRIAL

            “As far as I can tell there was no compelling reason to omit it from her testimony, therefore it clearly has some relevance.”

            Fantastic logic. It’s relevant because you can’t think of a reason for her not to say it. A reason might be that it’s not relevant but never mind that

          14. Nigel

            ‘Do you really need someone to explain why some might take issue with sit down protesters being charged with false imprisonment?’

            I’m waiting for someone to explain to me why people who crowd around a car banging on the windows and doors shouting abuse shouldn’t or couldn’t be charged with false imprisonment.

            ‘What I don’t like, and have said a number of times, is the attempt to distract people from the validity of the trial and gain support by spinning an emotive narrative.’

            I don’t really care what you like or don’t like. If I think the crowd behaved badly I’ll say so and you can like it or dislike it all you want.

            ‘Is this you admitting you have no idea if the shouting of abuse is relevant to a false imprisonment trial then, despite twice implying that it was relevant when questioned’

            This is certainly me admitting to not having any legal expertise and to having pretty much negative faith in yours.

            ‘Right yeah, cause they won’t just take her word for it and will run the audio from the tapes through the biggest graphic equaliser they can find to isolate every voice to check what every protester shouted IN THIS FALSE IMPRISONMENT TRIAL’

            Or the legal defense team can challenge her testimony and, if successful, destroy her credibility.

            ‘It’s relevant because you can’t think of a reason for her not to say it.’

            Luckily nobody’s relying on my capacity to think of reasons for her not to say things. There’s lawyers and barristers or whatever involved, all trained to raise legal objections and have testimony stricken from the record if it’s deemed irrelevant.

          15. MoyestWithExcitement

            I’m waiting for someone to explain to me why people who crowd around a car banging on the windows and doors shouting abuse shouldn’t or couldn’t be charged with false imprisonment.”

            Because angry poor people losing the run of themselves at a protest and expressing that through banging on a car and shouting were unlikely to have prior intent of holding her against her will for any set amount of time and public order laws exist.

            “If I think the crowd behaved badly I’ll say so and you can like it or dislike it all you want.”

            Pretty much the point of a comment section there, Nigel. You implied, pretty much said, they *should* be on trial for false imprisonment. I took issue with it, here we are, several attempts from you to spin my position and make it personal later.

            “Or the legal defense team can challenge her testimony and, if successful, destroy her credibility.”

            Yes, I’m sure the defense team that a working class family from Jobstown have access to and money for the necessary equipment and time to do that.

            “Luckily nobody’s relying on my capacity to think of reasons for her not to say things.”

            Do you think this conversation is going into evidence or something? It’s a conversation between me and you and the comment section of a blog. *I* am relying you to come up with reasons for the things you’re saying. You implied it was relevant. I asked you how it could be. You implied I should regard it as relevant just cause. I asked you again. You sarcastically repeated the question to again, just imply it was relevant. Now the barristers will decide. Lame.

          16. Nigel

            ‘were unlikely to have prior intent of holding her against her will for any set amount of time and public order laws exist. ‘

            I don’t know what their being poor has to do with it, and nothing in what you say suggests they should be immune or excluded from prosecution, but if that can be proven and shown to be exculpatory, then they have nothing to worry about.

            ‘You implied, pretty much said, they *should* be on trial for false imprisonment.’

            Mostly I was taking issue with comments dismissing the verbal abuse and the aggression. Further to that, I am merely responding to the idea that no criminal charges could possibly apply in the case of a crowd surrounding a car, banging on the doors and windows, yelling abuse. Whether false imprisonment is the appropriate charge I am not qualified to judge, and you seem unequipped to make an actual case against beyond bald assertion.

            ‘Yes, I’m sure the defense team that a working class family from Jobstown have access to and money for the necessary equipment and time to do that. ‘

            Do you have reason to suppose that the defendant is not receiving adequate legal defense?

            ‘You implied it was relevant’

            Mostly I was wondering why one would suppose that the hostile and aggressive behaviour displayed by the crowd that surrounded her would NOT be relevant. I guess it’s just hard not to come across as sarcastic when wondering aloud about how the way the crowd that surrounded her car behaved could possibly be relevant when bringing charges against those involved in surrounding her car, or, indeed, merely testifying about what it was like to be in a car surrounded by that crowd. I think the onus might be on you here to explain why the behaviour of the crowd might be irrelevant when it comes to judging the behaviour of the crowd.

          17. MoyestWithExcitement

            “I don’t know what their being poor has to do with it”

            They are on trial for false imprisonment over something that could have been sorted with a couple of hours in a cell and/or a public order charge. Obviously I’m of a mind that is near medieval levels of draconian and authoritarian thinking at best, political at worst. I’m also of a mind that a fair justice system in a civilised country should, and I’m pretty sure usually does, have the power of discretion and ability to take motivation and circumstance into account. In this case, poor people got very angry at a politician who was supposed to represent them show contempt for them via austerity and her smartphone comment which I think belied quite a lot. A just system would take that into account, realise it wasn’t a case of thuggery by serial criminals. It might punish them, but not for fupping false imprisonment.

            “Whether false imprisonment is the appropriate charge I am not qualified to judge, and you seem unequipped to make an actual case against beyond bald assertion.”

            And your argument seems to be that the charges of false imprisonment should be pursued simply because they can. I have said this to you several times that it’s a moral argument this, not a legal one so I don’t know why you’re pretending I need some backup for a legal argument I never made. Again. I think it is a moral outrage to charge, as I said, angry poor people with false imprisonment because they lost the run of themselves at a public protest and expressed their anger with banging and shouting for a couple of hours and never came close to injuring anyone. I think there were other options such as public order or assault if any assault happened. Evidently it didn’t.

            “Do you have reason to suppose that the defendant is not receiving adequate legal defense?”

            Course not. Just agreeing with you how likely it is the defense team of a working class family have the time and money for the tech needed to isolate every single voice at the protest when the charge is false imprisonment and whether or not someone in the crowd who probably isn’t on trial called Joan a ladypart would probably do little to swing the jury in their client’s favour.

            “Mostly I was wondering why one would suppose that the hostile and aggressive behaviour displayed by the crowd that surrounded her would NOT be relevant.”

            The trial is to establish whether or not they falsely imprisoned her.

            “I guess it’s just hard not to come across as sarcastic when wondering aloud about how the way the crowd that surrounded her car behaved could possibly be relevant when bringing charges against those involved in surrounding her car, ”

            They could have been charged with threats to kill or cause serious harm if that happened. They could have been charged with harassment or assault. If those were the charges, then their behaviour and what she said in her testimony would have been relevant. It would apply to all those charges. But they’re on trial for false imprisonment.

          18. Nigel

            ‘They are on trial for false imprisonment over something that could have been sorted with a couple of hours in a cell and/or a public order charge.’

            Perhaps. I don’t have much faith in either your legal expertise or your special pleading, but you could well be right.

            ‘And your argument seems to be that the charges of false imprisonment should be pursued simply because they can.’

            No, I’m saying that since it HAS gone to trial, i would prefer informed opinion over bloviating.

            ‘Just agreeing with you how likely it is the defense team of a working class family have the time and money for the tech needed to isolate every single voice at the protest when the charge is false imprisonment and whether or not someone in the crowd who probably isn’t on trial called Joan a ladypart would probably do little to swing the jury in their client’s favour.’

            I’m no law-talking guy, but I’m guessing you aren’t a law-talking guy either.

            ‘They could have been charged with threats to kill or cause serious harm if that happened. They could have been charged with harassment or assault. If those were the charges, then their behaviour and what she said in her testimony would have been relevant. It would apply to all those charges. But they’re on trial for false imprisonment.’

            I think you;re just reinforcing my sense that you’re really not a law-talking guy and that I should take your opinion on legal matters with a whole Dead Sea’s worth of salt.

          19. MoyestWithExcitement

            “No, I’m saying that since it HAS gone to trial, i would prefer informed opinion over bloviating.”

            I can’t work out if you’re dishonest or so emotional you’re forgetting what you said. You said they should be on charge for *something* and are clearly ok with the notion that they are on trial or it seeing as you want a reason for it *not* to happen, implication being, it’s ok until I hear otherwise. I, obviously, disagree with that position. Your reaction to that has been…unusual.

            “I’m no law-talking guy, but I’m guessing you aren’t a law-talking guy either.”

            So you see how funny it was when you suggested they “destroy her credibility” by getting some mad CSI audio stuff to contradict her?

            “I think you;re just reinforcing my sense that you’re really not a law-talking guy and that I should take your opinion on legal matters with a whole Dead Sea’s worth of salt.”

            Great. All on Google if you’re actually interested in what you’re talking about and not just behaving like a petulant child. http://www.irishstatutebook.ie/eli/1997/act/26/enacted/en/print

            Although you’ll probably have to take your fingers out of your ears, open your eyes and stop singing ‘lalalalalala’ to search the information and read it. You don’t have to stop singing lalala actually.

          20. Nigel

            ‘Your reaction to that has been…unusual.’

            Your reaction has been pretty consistent with what one would expect from you.

            ‘So you see how funny it was when you suggested they “destroy her credibility” by getting some mad CSI audio stuff to contradict her?’

            It is pretty funny that you’re saying that’s what I suggested, yes.

            Great. All on Google if you’re actually interested in what you’re talking about

            So…. no expert legal opinions condemning this for a travesty of a joke of a miscarriage of justice?

          21. MoyestWithExcitement

            “Your reaction has been pretty consistent with what one would expect from you.”

            You mean you. Desperate.

            “It is pretty funny that you’re saying that’s what I suggested, yes.”

            You didn’ suggest it though. You said it.

            “So…. no expert legal opinions condemning this for a travesty of a joke of a miscarriage of justice?”

            Still no examples of other disruptive public protests ending in dawn arrests and false imprisonment trials?

          22. Nigel

            ‘You didn’ suggest it though. You said it.’

            Yeah. Scrupulous honesty and accuracy is another thing that you are famous for.

            ‘Still no examples of other disruptive public protests ending in dawn arrests and false imprisonment trials?’

            I don’t know why you keep asking me for this, since it doesn’t particularly relate to anything I’ve said so far, but I take it from this arbitrary demand that no examples of either public protests ending in dawn arrests and false imprisonment charges OR learned opinions on why the false imprisonment charges are inappropriate actually exist, eh?

          23. MoyestWithExcitement

            “Scrupulous honesty and accuracy is another thing that you are famous for.”

            I like how you’re still trying to play to the crowd in your head. It’s pretty sad but entertaining and sure isn’t that what it’s all about wha’?

            “I don’t know why you keep asking me for this, since it doesn’t particularly relate to anything I’ve said so far”

            Similarly, I don’t know why you keep asking me for legal opinion seeing as that also doesn’t relate to anything I’ve said. What a crazy situation, eh?

          24. Nigel

            I can’t say it comes as a surprise that you have no idea why your assertions on the legal ramifications of the incident and the nature of the trial should be untarnished by the opinions of anyone who might know what they’re talking about.

          25. MoyestWithExcitement

            It’s to be expected that you’ve decided to invent a position and assign it to me in order to “win” on the Internet in response to questioning of your own.

  5. 15 cent

    it is bad what happened to her, but not bad enough to show a bit of mettle and forget about it. but at the time, she really tried to ham up the situation to try and demonise protesters and paint them out to be doing something awful, to deter others from protesting.

    but now labour are very weak and need to rebuild, she should’ve dropped the charges, if anything, to try and not further hurt the parties popularity. so its a stupid move to go thru with this, and now trying to say she cared about the kids, and that they were being sexist. its a bit transparent and pathetic. if anything it further proves that she is a bad leader, who makes bad decisions, this being one of them, further setting her party back.

    1. Michael

      They are not her charges to drop. It’s a criminal case and she has been summoned to appear as witness. To refuse go do so would be contempt of court. The charge process and any verdict are functions of the criminal justice system

      1. pedeyw

        People seem very confused about how the law works. Dropping charges is a thing that happens in US cop shows.

        1. some old queen

          So the ‘victim’ statement has no bearing so? SHE decided to pursue this, at the expense of her own party of course.

          1. pedeyw

            The victim statement is largely there to give the victim a sense of closure. It shouldn’t have any bearing on the judgement, no. It’s a criminal case, the DPP pursued it.

          2. pedeyw

            In fairness, I think lots of people are a bit vague on how criminal cases work. So the Gardai send a file to the DPP who then decide whether to take legal action based on the file. It’s out of the hands of the victim because it’s not up to them to decide whether a law has been broken.

    2. DubLoony

      There are protests held on a regular basis all over this country, they are peaceful. This was not a peaceful protest.

      If this had happened in any other country, where the second in command in govt was trapped in a car, what would have happened? In France, US?

      1. ahjayzis

        Careful now.

        Are you saying any delay to a minister is a non-peaceful protest and thus illegal?

        Banging on the car, throwing projectiles, threats of violence- not peaceful, most likely illegal.

        Sitting on a road blocking egress of a car – peaceful civil disobedience.

        1. Cian

          no. blocking a road, and not moving when asked by a Garda – this is illegal.
          Standing on the footpath holding banners = “peaceful protest”

          1. Nigel

            Peaceful protest is not necessarily the same as legal protest. Acts of peaceful civil disobedience can be illegal acts which can get the protestors arrested and charged.

          2. ahjayzis

            Refusing to comply with a guard request for you to move is civil disobedience.

            Civil disobedience is a form of peaceful protest.

            A protest being peaceful has nothing to do with whether it’s legal or not.

    3. Sheik Yahbouti

      Both Thatcher and Cameron have been egged – even our Dear, sweet Mary Harney had paint thrown over her. All survived to fight another day, without demanding blood. This is part of an orchestrated effort to stifle ALL protest, no matter how justified.

  6. Drogg

    “I’m just worried about the safety of the kids except the two that i am sending to prison for doing nothing more then protesting”

  7. nononononononono

    Sure wasn’t she invited by Katherine Zappone? The students only found out the day before and didn’t want their day to be overtaken by the appearance of Joan Burton. She was going directly into an area that vehemently opposed the water charges and expected nothing to happen. ¯\_(ツ)_/¯ It’s like going in to hug a dog that’s frothing at the mouth – you just don’t do it.

  8. Praetorian

    Kathleen Turner to play Joan in the movie,Vin Diesel to play Murphy and Brendan Gleeson to resurect his roll as the Gaurd….Templemore recruits to play the mob.

  9. marge

    they should have used water cannons, dublin townies unable to express anything without coming across as total peasants.

  10. Vote Rep #1

    She became the fulcrum of all the abuse of that government, even before she was leader of Labour and therefore Táiniste. Its crazy. You would think that some of the lads, such as Enda, Michael and Eamonn, the ones making the actual main decisions, would get the flake but no, it was her. It was all very odd. The fact that some people seem to think that banging on a car and screaming abuse in at the occupants of fine way to protest is equally odd.

    1. ahjayzis

      You think it;’s odd that the Labour Minister for Social Protection in a regressive right-wing government, after a long stint as Labour Finance Spokeswoman, where she railed against the very decisions and cuts she later went on to make with absolute gusto – ends up being a hate figure and a symbol of everything rotten in our political culture?

      It’s one thing to break a promise. It’s another to have such a depth of contempt and disdain for the people who elected you that you continually tell them you never made those promises in the first place.

      It’s along the lines of if Arlene Foster were to release a Wolfe Tones Cover album.

      1. DubLoony

        There was a 30 billion in welfare budget over 2011 – 2015.
        During that time, the number of people needing to access social protection rapidly increased at a time when revenues from taxation rapidly decreased.

        Burton was faced with a situation of making sure the same amount of money went further to make sure that it could stretch to meet the needs of as many people as possible.

        Labour got 19% of the vote in 2011, one third of cabinet seats, 60% of their manifesto implemented and 100% of the blame.

        1. ahjayzis

          Who held a gun to their heads, jammed the ministerial pay check into their pockets, forced them into their Mercs and chained them to a government out to gut pay, pensions, welfare, housing standards, and standards of living?

          We don’t have mandatory coalitions – we do have cabinet collective responsibility.
          Fine Gael did what it says on the tin. Labour hid the tin and told us there never was a tin, that we were imagining things.

          1. DubLoony

            Or they stepped up when the country was going down the tubes, with unemployment hitting 300,00 and going up. Stopped potential state asset sale, improved workers rights, got 2 referenda passed, focused on getting people to work and generally got the country moving again. Its not perfect, we obviously still have significant problems but we have all the means necessary now to solve them.
            Or we could have been Greece, a total baskets case even now.

        2. BobbyJ

          Don’t forget that she partially privatised the Department of Social Protection’s Employment Services by establishing JobPath.

    2. ahjayzis

      It’s a daft and dangerous way to protest.

      But in fairness to them when you throw out one bad government only to get an identical government that ran on a pack of lies, I think people can be forgiven for thinking they have no voice, no other way of changing things.

      1. Vote Rep #1

        Its amazing that you will excuse any sort of abuse thrown as long as it is thrown at a labour td. The FF tds would almost destroyed the government did get that sort of abuse nor did any of the lads in FG. You would think that the man making the cuts, Michael Noonan himself might have got some sort of abuse. No, only Joan who happened to have the misfortune of being both from Labour and being a woman.

        1. Mourinho

          They never voted for Noonan, or anyone in FF or FG.

          One expects FF or FG to be either corrupt or incompetent.

          Labour promised something different.

        2. ahjayzis

          Cheap and lazy point. Here’s why;

          The answer is that Noonan knows he’s a right-wing politician, he wouldn’t be caught dead pretending to be anything other than contemptuous of the people of Jobstown, he’d not darken their door.

          Labour people will, their cognitive dissonance is so strong that they believe they can surgically attach themselves to Fine Gaels backside, yet still be left wing local heroes in the communities they devastate. That’s the level of contempt they have for the electorate’s intelligence. That’s a defect of hubris and ego, nothing to do with chromosomes.

          I reserve more contempt for Labour than I do FF/FG because they made a fool of me, plain and simple. I’d never vote for FF/FG, I voted for Labour though. And for no one more than for Joan Burton. And I’ve felt like an idiot ever since, they spent five years laughing when it was brought up, telling interviewers, journalists that we were all imagining things. Black is white.

          1. DubLoony

            You know that there has been another election since 2011? Perhaps you should start to deal with your anger issues more constructively.

          2. ahjayzis

            Thank you, DubLoony. That could not have been a more sneeringly Labour reply.

            I now get why Fianna Fail are resurgent.

            We just reset the dial after an electoral cycle and pretend nothing happened.

            Things will surely change then. Even though it’s the same people. Saying the same things. Only now they’ll be wealthy for life on the back of their time in office.

    1. The Real Jane

      Indeed. Why can’t Joan just be lovelier? This didn’t happen to any lovely, amenable ladies, did it? No, it happened to one who wasn’t careful enough to be pleasing enough in the nice way mandated for women. So really, she does have to look to her own behaviour here.

      1. Vote Rep #1

        Either that or be more like one of the lads. You don’t seen protests like this happening to any of the lads. Either be lovely or be a lad.

  11. Coppélia

    Happy to see that Bodger is busy courting kangaroos. Meanwhile, back in the real world I read this as evidence provided by the witness Joan Burton. Failure to do so would amount to contempt of court.

    1. Anomanomanom

      Thats whats wrong in this country, all the garda there and not one of them used a baton or pepper spray. Those protesters are scum.

  12. Joe

    Use water cannons? Water cannons would have been a tad harsh on poor Joanie, she would have become very wet, I am sure the admirable restraint used by tossing a little water balloon was more preferable to her!

  13. Tony

    For Gods sake, this is what protesting looks like when people are ignored for so long that they up the stakes. Snowflake Joan and her supporters on here need to grow a pair and take their medicine. Lies, U Turns, party above people, power above principles and this is what you get. And leave the fact that she’s a woman out of it, she took the ministers salary, now take the heat.

  14. Mourinho

    “and a young man was holding a camera in front of her face and saying, ‘talk to us, Joan’.”

    Lock up RTE.

  15. Truth in the News

    What exactly did the accused allegedly do, did he or she lock her in the vechicle
    in other words who locked the doors, how come the Guards did not escort her away
    on foot, there is a suspision out there that a lot of this has been staged managed
    and is rapidly decending into a farce.

  16. p

    A lot of those who, quite rightly, would be up in arms if this false imprisonment and harassment happened to any other woman now seem happy to engage in a perverse form of victim shaming and are bending over backwards to excuse this sort of ‘protest’.
    Hypocritical.

    1. Daisy Chainsaw

      Any other woman wouldn’t have had a battalion of gardai standing around scratching their holes while being falsely imprisoned.

      1. some old queen

        While all this nonsense is going on, the general public will increasingly be asking why An Garda Síochána did not do their job. More own goals than yesterdays match.

  17. Kolmo

    This woman has clearly not been on a red luas line when the numerous local young scroti are in full-feral-monkey-mode, don’t talk to me about unpleasent..

    ( note: the vast majority of residents along red line are productive contributors to society and just want to get on with life)

  18. Rob_G

    Wow – a whole lot of scummy people in the comments.

    So it’s ok to harass and intimidate someone because they don’t share your political beliefs? You should really take a good hard look at yourselves.

    1. some old queen

      So Hillary gets surrounded by Trump supporters and it is the Trumps who are at fault?

      The guards need to brush up on policing political events pretty quick because it is going to get a hell of a lot worst before it gets better.

      1. Rob_G

        “So Hillary gets surrounded by Trump supporters and it is the Trumps who are at fault?”

        – no; but I don’t think that a lot of the people gloating here would be reacting the same if it was someone from Soc Dems or PBP in a car surrounded by a load of rabid FGers or FFers. Its a fairly horrible thing to celebrate or make excuses for.

        1. MoyestWithExcitement

          You are such a lying clown. This was a case of the working poor expressing their anger at a minister who helped millionaires steal even more money from them. It was not like the supporters of one party abusing a rival. You should be ashamed of yourself.

  19. anne

    Why did I see her on RTE’s evening news – read by quizimodo with the wonky eye – strolling towards the RTE cameras with a smirk on her face, heading into court? I was expecting her to be getting some abuse from the protesters out the front…Ushered in quickly and quietly was she? Is it too much to expect like the likes of her to hear from the public at all? The aul witch..

  20. Ivor

    Was it unpleasant? Sure.

    Calling it false imprisonment is a joke. I know teachers, social care workers etc. who put up with far worse every year. FFS, popstars have been delayed for longer. And what about traffic jams on motorway resulting from protests and celebrations in Dublin city centre?

    At the end of the day, we spent more on policing water protestors than ISIS. If you think that political policing requires Enda calling up Commissioner Gordon to stick the heavy gang on Mick Wallace, you’ve got a narrow definition of political policing.

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