Show Trial Of The Century



Paul Murphy (centre) outside the Central Criminal Court today

Roll up.

Bring your rotten veg.

For the last of the 1916 tributes.

Martin McMahon writes:

As part of the ongoing 1916 Rising Commemorations, the Fine Gael led government has arranged a special series of ‘Show Trials’ for the entertainment of the masses.

Very kindly, Irish newspapers, journalists and politicians have risen to the challenge of making this experience as close to the original as possible. To quote that memorable Irish Times 1916 editorial:

​‘We said, and we repeat, that the surgeon’s knife of the State must not be stayed “until the whole malignant growth has been removed”… Our demand that the elements of rebellion should be finally extinguished… We have called for the severest punishment of the leaders and responsible agents of the insurrection.’

Exactly as in 1916, the public has been fed a constant stream of vitriol against the defendants and those who support them. Comparisons to ISIS and labels such as ‘Sinister Fringe’ have been spat across the parliament floor in a wholly convincing portrayal of the bloodlust for vengeance which existed among the ruling class and courtiers in 1916.

The Minister for Recreations told us:

“We can’t do military trials, but we appoint the judges and control the jury. We encourage people to come along to the courts where rotten fruit & veg will be provided free of charge to throw at the guilty on their way in and out during the course of the trial. We expect it to be a huge family event”.

In a break with history, it is understood that negotiations are underway with RTÉ and SKY to televise the executions live from Kilmainham Jail where the Garda Band will play a constant loop of ‘God Save the Queen’. Seats are limited and families are advised to book early for what will be the last event in the 1916 Rising Commemorations.

Martin blogs at RamshornRepublic

Earlier: Meanwhile, At The Jobstown Trial

For Your Consideration: Jobstown, Protest On Trial


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47 thoughts on “Show Trial Of The Century

  1. f

    Some people did some questionable, possibly illegal stuff.
    Court to decide on whether it’s illegal or not.
    Appropriate punishment applied if indeed they are guilty of any wrongdoing.
    Pretty straightforward justice in action. If you’re too good for a basic justice system and believe that due process doesn’t apply to you, well then there’s not a lot I can do to help you.

    1. realPolithicks

      They are charged with “false imprisonment” which is nonsensical given what happened, at worst it should have been disturbing the peace or something like that. These trials are a ridiculous waste of time and money.

      1. Waffles

        “False imprisonment occurs when a person is restricted in their personal movement within any area without justification or consent. Actual physical restraint is not necessary to a false imprisonment case.”

        I dunno man, it sounds pretty similar to the reports as to what occurred on that faithful day.

        1. realPolithicks

          This was a political protest, the minister and her aide were stuck in their car for a couple of hours. They were certainly inconvenienced and probably fairly PO’d, but lets not blow the thing completely out of proportion. This is a political prosecution designed to put these people “back in their place” for having the temerity to stand up to the establishment.

        2. Topsy

          This trial represents the state using the police & justice system to beat down honest protest. Separation of powers me ar#e.

        3. anne

          She wasn’t restricted in her personal movement though.

          People have a right to protest. She was free to get out of her car..and sail off on her canoe.

          Would you say those standing in front of tanks at Tiananmen Square were restricting the movement of the soldiers in the tanks if they decided not to roll over the protesters? Eh no you wouldn’t.

          Joany could have had her driver move the car, or she could have exited her car.. she probably chose what she felt was the safest option for herself and stayed in the car smirking out at people, while she read the paper for 2 hours. She wasn’t restricted in her movement. People lay on the ground by the car out of protest.

          At the height of water meter installation battles in the area, what does Joany do? She decides to go walk about in the area after some presentation at a college.

          She has form for stunts..

          1. Kenny U-Vox Plank

            Why doesn’t someone FOI her phone transcripts from the day in question? I wonder who she called while in that car…:)

          2. Happy Molloy


            lots of people would disagree. that’s what will be discussed in court and I’m only guessing that they’ll be using a “reasonable man” test

          3. MoyestWithExcitement

            A lot of people would disagree that creationism is BS. “Most people think” is, generally, just not an argument.

          4. know man is an island

            What a dumb comment. So dumb it’s almost beyond belief. Let’s put you in the same situation for a few hours and see how feel.

      2. know man is an island

        They are criminals who don’t know the difference between legitimate public expression of their democratic beliefs and behaving like gurriers and thugs. A good stretch in the Joy will sort them out and should see them fully rehabilitated however.

          1. Yep

            @ know man is an island

            I really hope you’re under 25, unemployed or the missus just left you.

          2. know man is an island

            @ Mickey and Yep

            I don’t think you’re bad people. However when you resort to speculation about the age, marital or employment status in lieu of objective commentary on the subject under discussion, namely the very serious charge of false imprisonment committed by thugs and agitated by elected parliamentarians, you really are losing

    2. Happy Molloy

      Murphy attempting to use political pressure to prove he is above the law.
      This is the “I was elected to break the law” guy.

      Anyway, it’s for the judge to decide now.

      1. Egg-Head

        Murphy, much like this “satirical” piece are all about show boating. This trial is a dream come true for him!

  2. Water Boy

    Courts will examine the specific behaviour of a number of individuals, mostly political activists not from Jobstown. Only people who have a problem with it are the their supporters.

  3. MKG

    The courts behaved in a rational manner today. There may have been political policing, there’s (so far) not been any political influence on the case itself. It’s not an attack on the right to protest.
    Usually I like Martins stuff, but this hyperbolic conspiracy theory spin is more YouTube fluff than analysis.

  4. MoyestWithExcitement

    Pffft. They SAID this was all above board and legitimate so they’re definitely not show trials!

  5. Ben Redmond

    If he is judicially murdered I think Bono and U2 should bring out a punk rock version of the patriotic song ‘Kevin Barry’.

  6. Kenny U-Vox Plank

    If this is before the courts, then why is any comment allowed at all?

    With all due respect to political prisoners and victims of real state oppression that’s a fairly offensive headline.

    But since comment is allowed:

    – this clearly is a case of political policing.
    – the charges are wrong
    – Brutal’s bringing the claim that some protestors shouted homophobic slogans is just 6% Right-On Buffoonery at its worst.

    Roll on Labour getting @3% next time around…

    1. anonymous

      Very unusual to see the comment box open. Should say ” closed for legal reasons ” after article. This is because comments could influence the the jury’s verdict and defendants wouldn’t get a fair trial. Tut tut broadsheet

  7. Anomanomanom

    This site is full of whining little maggots. Regardless of the hate people have for Burton, I’m not a fan my self, but Jesus you would think this trial was going to be a trip to a concentration camp, then a firing squad then a trip to a gulag.

    1. Cillbot

      Thats true (tho I dont not neccessarily agree with the maggots part) and to be fair the Anti Water protesters are getting an awful lot of mileage out of it – which is fine. But its not a show trial – its just a trial in public. And id be quite surprised if anyone goes to prison over this because it actually takes a lot to go to prison in this country. They may have broken a law – so now the courts decide. This is really not that sinister. And I think Irish Water is an absolute joke btw.

  8. classter

    The piece atop is raimeis but it is difficult to justify proceeding with this to trial.

    A lot of state resources are going into this. Would a caution not have sufficed?

    1. Happy Molloy

      I don’t disagree and I don’t really care to be honest, much and all as I dislike Paul Murphy.

      But I take issue with the hypocrisy of those crying political policing and that this is an attempt to criminalize protesting and those redefining what false imprisonment is.

      1. know man is an island

        I’m in the unusual position of agreeing with both of you as you both spout some amount of reactionary me from nonsense in this blog. I guess the phrase “a stopped clock is right twice a day” was made for this moment.

  9. Casey

    So which one was digging the holes in Stephens Green?

    I side with the protesters and I think this an.trial is a farce but comparing them to the lads and lasses of 1916 is groan-inducing stupidity. Like comparing apples and chives ffs.

  10. Johnny Fantastic

    @ know man is an island You clearly wouldn’t know a “thug” if he/she jumped up and down in front of you. These are ordinary people with concern and passion for their community and country. If they were thugs, they’d have dragged the sneering woman out of her car and given her a hiding. You must be some snowflake if you think these are thugs. Enough of your trolling, now stroll on.

  11. anne

    Joany’s playing a blinder at being a total victim apparently. The tears will be flowing soon.

    Terrified she said she was, as she smirking out of her car. The smiles were that of a woman minutes from her death’s end.

    And she said she was hit with a water bomb..not a water balloon mind you, a water bomb.

    When the hag fell out of her canoe and got her knickers soggy, I suppose that was relayed as a near drowning incident. She probably made a call to the coast guard that day.

    Ruth Coppinger puts it well here –

    1. sǝɯǝɯʇɐƃᴉq

      My favourite paragraph in that is this;
      ‘She(Burton) said she took a couple of photos in the first car and gave her phone to her advisor in the second car. The court heard that there were 42 videos of the incident on her phone when she gave it to gardaí to download.

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