To Heli And Back


burtonScreen Shot 2017-05-04 at 12.29.47

The trial of Solidarity TD Paul Murphy and six other men continues in the Dublin Circuit Criminal Court today.

They deny falsely imprisoning Labour TD, and then Tánaiste, Joan Burton during a water charge protest in Jobstown, Tallaght, Dublin, in November 2014.

Earlier this week, a video clip was shown in the court of footage from the Garda helicopter on that day.

Yesterday, the Irish Examiner reported:

The trial was shown video footage from Garda Air Support at about 2.53pm that day during which a dispatcher could be heard saying the crowd was dispersing.

The dispatcher said they were making good progress and Ms Burton’s car should reach the Tallaght by-pass within 20-30 minutes. There’s no hassle really, said the dispatcher, adding that there had been a bit of pushing when the Garda Public Order Unit arrived.

The video footage, with a timestamp of 15.21, can be watched above.

Readers will note a Garda can be heard saying:

“It’s fairly dispersed. She’s making a good bit of progress. She’s only, only another 100 metres, not even 50 metres, from the Tallaght Bypass. There’s no pushing or shoving or anything. The Public Order Unit moved in there for a minute and there was a bit and they seem to have left them march ahead of their banner like.”

“The Jeep could have went backwards ages ago but [inaudible] did not want to do that. …There’s no hassle really.”


“No, no, [she’s] still not out. Could be another 20 minutes or half an hour anyway.”


From this morning’s proceedings…

Screen Shot 2017-05-04 at 12.53.46

Via Niamh McDonald


Vivienne Traynor, of RTÉ, reported on the News At One:

Joan Burton’s being questioned again about an instruction given to her assistant Karen O’Connell while they were allegedly trapped in a Garda car at a water charges protest.

In an audio recording, Ms Burton can be heard telling her assistant she should go on social media and say it was shameful that children in the area were roaming free adn unsupervised.

Defence counsel Michael O’Higgins suggested it was a direction to an employee to use social media to smear the demonstrators, painting them as uncaring and it was a strategic move.

Ms Burton denied it was an instruction and said it was just conversation. She said her assistant was more familiar with social media than she was. She accepted that she was angry with the protesters but said she was not at her most thoughtful or strategic best.

It was put to her that all politicians knew the power of social media to get a story out. Ms Burton said she had reduced her use of it because of the vile comments directed towards female politicians in particular. She said her social media accounts now had to be read and cleaned by people before she reads them.

Listen back in full here

Burton questioned on Garda statement (Isabel Hayes, Irish Examiner)

Previously: Meanwhile, At The Jobstown Trial

185 thoughts on “To Heli And Back

  1. Brother Barnabas

    stop digging that hole, Joan

    or, rather, carry on digging – just be aware that you’re digging your own political grave

    1. Sheik Yahbouti

      Entertaining and all as it is, Brother, the result is a foregone conclusion – all of the accused WILL be convicted. When one sees protests in cities in other European countries and what might (but doesn’t) happen to other politicians, this is beyond pathetic. Shure even the boul’ Maro Harno survived having red pain thrown over her. I’m not suggesting for a moment that these things are pleasant, but they go with the big bucks and the big perks.

      1. Vote Rep #1

        The woman who threw the red paint got brought to court and fined for it. Weird example to use.

          1. MoyestWithExcitement

            Why are water balloons and name calling and gender relevant to a false imprisonment trial?

          2. Vote Rep #1

            What have water balloons, name calling, gender relevant to a false imprisonment trial got to do with getting prosecuted for throwing paint?

        1. Spaghetti Hoop

          And the paint-thrower was a politician too! Albeit a local one. Gas oul japes that was.

          1. Ivor

            I don’t believe the accused are supposed to be the ones that threw balloons or called her bad names. Just being part of the sit down seems to be the reason they’re being prosecuted.

      2. Brother Barnabas

        I really don’t/can’t believe that will happen. I think ultimately it’ll be thrown out. It’s beyond ridiculous. She has no idea the damage she’s doing – none more so than to herself.

          1. Brother Barnabas

            I’m on all sorts of stuff, but that’s irrelevant.
            The damage goes beyond her political career – covers everything.

          2. Brother Barnabas

            Hi Bodger ~ I don’t think my comment as it originally stood was libelous or overly rude.

    1. Vote Rep #1

      Is it a bit weird that the whole defence so far seems to a bit of victim blaming and telling the female witness, who is not on trial, exactly how she should feel or what sort of abuse she should be able to take? Its a bit of weird thing for BS to be championing.

      1. know man is an island

        There is nothing Bodger and co like more than winding up the usual ludramans and empty milk churns rattling on on this blog. It’s a bit like those lads you see on the New York subway who wind up the little toys and set them off …

  2. Darren

    Just reading another account where she had to be told by the judge twice today in addition to when she had to be also told on previous days to answer the question she is asked.

    1. realPolithicks

      She’s a politician, they never answer the questions they’re asked.

      1. MoyestWithExcitement

        A *female* politician. That’s very important here for some reason.

          1. MoyestWithExcitement

            Lol! Poor rotide. I was just saying to bodger that bar steward was an odd choice of censorship for the bold word I used. Man, Broadsheet is your whole life, isn’t it.

          2. wedduck

            The majority of the protesters and those shouting were women, yet only men were charged with ‘false imprisonment’ for staging sit down.

  3. Nigel

    I genuinely don’t like defending her but so much of this hinges on a woman receivng verbal and online abuse while remaining outwardly calm, and then her own relatively mild but still intemperate comments about the people verbally abusing her being used against her, as if they couldn’t possibly be a sign that she was, in fact, upset and disturbed while the incident was ongoing. This leaves a bad taste. Does anyone find it unbelievable that she avoids social media because of abuse? If she was a just a few degrees more ‘sympathetic’ as a figure the Defence would be crucified for taking this line.

      1. Nigel

        Honestly unsure. Generally come down on not guilty because freedom to protest is sacrosanct but if protestors crossed the line don’t want to let them off. Would much rather see Garda peaceful crowd control measures addressed because they were a shambles.

          1. Increasing Displacement

            Like the garda and the video? Yeah they don’t tell any story.
            Stop making this about her social media treatment or whatever other agenda you’re pushing.

          2. Anomanomanom

            This is what’s wrong with this site, we all argue, but the old chestnut of what agenda are you pushing just because someone doesn’t totally agree with you is a ridiculous stance to have. I personally have no love for Joan Burton, but I hope most are found guilty because they are guilty. I’m not saying it deserves to even be in court, it wasnt dangerous,but they did do what their being accused of.

          3. MoyestWithExcitement

            Even liberals can have awful attitudes towards the poor. Some simply *do not want* to see the protestors as anything other than subhuman scum. Reality won’t change their minds.

          4. Nigel

            Some people literally make up the arguments of the people they’re arguing with cause it’s just easier when you’re supplying both sdes of the dialogue.

          5. MoyestWithExcitement

            Yep. “Nigel
            May 4, 2017 at 3:21 pm
            See? It’s okay to verbally abuse and victim blame some women if they’re the right woman.”

          6. Nigel

            Actually fair enough I thought your reply down there was to me and it wasn’t.

        1. Robert

          That’s precisely why the False Imprisonment charges are nonsense.

          Public Order would have been more appropriate but DPP wanted to go for the heftier charge of FI.

          Protesters arguably not guilty of FI but the Public Order case is harder to deny and would be more appropriate to the “lesson” they should be getting.

          1. Spaghetti Hoop

            Absolutely. I hope the courts clarify the difference.
            I was reading about John Prescott’s public order incident over yonder in 2008. The incident did not result in a prosecution to either he or his protester and interestingly flipped his negative image. Joan? Nada.

    1. ollie

      The charges are false imprisonment, nothing to do with social media or verbal abuse (which by the way Joan said she didn’t hear)
      No case to answer, political policing.
      And she doesn’t avoid social media, she uses taxpayers money to pay people to “cleanse” it before she gets involved. A true Socialist!

      1. Rob_G

        Who needs a court system, due process, and all that time-wasting malarkey when ollie is here to tell what’s what…

          1. Rob_G

            People who trap an old woman in a car, heaping abuse at her, are thugs – I’ll say it again.

            Whether this constitutes false imprisonment or not is for the courts to decide.

          2. MoyestWithExcitement

            “People who trap an old woman in a car,”

            Who needs a court system, due process blah blah blah.

          3. Rob_G

            Well done Perry Mason – read that again and show me where I imply that the people who are currently on trial are the ones that trapped someone in a car.

          4. MoyestWithExcitement

            Me; “You already called *these people* thugs,”

            You; “People who trap an old woman in a car, heaping abuse at her, are thugs –”

            Also you; “show me where I imply that the people who are currently on trial are the ones that trapped someone in a car.”

            That’s actually hilariously bad.

        1. ollie

          Rob_G, I am able to read media reports, you should try it some time instead of being a paid FG lackey

          1. rotide

            Are these the same media reports that we are constantly being told are biased and lackeys of the estabklshment?

      2. Nigel

        I am specifically addressing the evidence and arguments related to her demeanour. If this really is political policing I can’t see how it does anything other than harm the government and the police.

    2. Rob_G

      “Does anyone find it unbelievable that she avoids social media because of abuse?”

      – indeed; a cursory glance at any of the related articles will show examples of the type of invective that she has to put up with.

      (I also am not a particular fan of Burton, but the mental and moral gymnastics that some of the posters on this site do to justify the treatment that she received is little short of shocking).

        1. nellyb

          misplaced empathy, me thinks. if you exempt jb from maturity, fitting for adult, parent and experienced politician, – you must exempt the defendants too.

          1. Nigel

            She’s not the one being charged. Why is the defendant’s behaviour contingent on hers? This whole approach is really creepy.

          2. MoyestWithExcitement

            +1 It’s not surprising that the usual slogan chanting lapdogs are performing all sorts of mental gymnastics to defend her but disappointing from others. Protestors are being prosecuted for false imprisonment and some want to make name calling the big issue. The Brain Trust will just mindlessly regurgitate the party line but I don’t see how others don’t see they’re being blatantly manipulated.

          3. nellyb

            you confused me for a laywer here, i am not. i commented on public personal sympathy towards jb. ‘defendants’ used as a ref to a group of people, not their position in court. if anything i am satisfied with judges attitudes.
            Creepy is applying different standards to different economic classes. I don’t think ahjayzis is guilty of that, but her narrative kind of is. Makes sense, Nigel?

          4. Nigel

            I don’t really follow what you’re saying here, sorry. In general I don’t think there’s much sympathy for her at all. I’m just leery of arguments that say her calm demeanour must mean she wasn’t upset by the incident.

          5. nellyb

            Sorry Nigel, vague i was indeed. Apologies. Restraint = Maturity (normally). Protesters are criticized for not behaving with restraint, i.e. not behaving maturely – and rightly so. Lets look at the other side – Jb. Has she behaved maturely and has she behaved consistently? I don’t believe so, in fact i believe that she has a personalities wardrobe where she pulls one most ”profitable’ for given circumstances.
            Over the years she presented herself as fearless hard decision makers, one not to be mess with, hard consistent and driven by common sense. And she dived into our pockets with FG like there is no tomorrow. Grand. What’s done is done.
            But tell me – how the hell are we suppose to reconcile that iron lady of politics, hard reasoned political soldier and that meek woman engulfed in paralsying fear for her life, while having a bunch of gardai in contact, near by and in the air?
            Who is she?

        2. scottser

          arguably it’s poo of her own making. she’s the one trying to make a charge of false imprisonment stick when there doesn’t appear to be a case to answer. she has been all over the broadcast media pointing out how distressing the experience was, how intimidated she felt, the threats and insults hurled at her etc. as the helicopter guy says, it didn’t seem that bad. if it was as bad as jb makes out, then why was nobody charged with violent and threatening behaviour or assault at the time?

          1. MoyestWithExcitement

            Right? We have audio of her calmly planning a PR campaign to smear rhe defendents but we should feel sorry for *her* because someone shouted a rude word at her? GTFO

          2. scottser

            rotide, this case should not have been heard as a charge of false imprisonment. harrassment, maybe but this overly dramatic nonsense does nobody any good. it’s not even about ‘justice’, it’s about a smear campaign of political rivals – on both sides, i’d hasten to add. i would however, spare a thought for those facing charges who simply and honestly believed that such actions were within their rights to protest. and i still ask why the gardai did not intervene on the day if they posed such a risk to joan’s safety?

        3. Nigel

          It really doesn’t go much beyond if she says she was scared and upset but acted calmly, then she was simply putting up a brave front. It’s not really something you can prove or disprove and is ultimately irrelevant as to whether the protestors were doing anything illegal.

          1. Nigel

            Oh my God – this reply was to nellyb. Think I’ll bail on this before I start posting my replies on completely different websites.

          2. MoyestWithExcitement

            “is ultimately irrelevant”

            Good lad. Shame it took your being confronted with your own hypocrisy to adjust (adjust, not change because I can just smell the reluctance to be written in that sentence) your shameful attitude towards these human beings but at least you made *some* progress.

      1. MoyestWithExcitement

        Moral gymnastics like you convincting these people as thugs. Typical right wing dishonesty. You can’t win the argument on merit so paint the other side as thugs and gurriers and claim the moral highground. Genuinely disgusting behaviour from some on this site.

        1. Nigel

          See? It’s okay to verbally abuse and victim blame some women if they’re the right woman. Where left wing populism overlaps with alt-right misogyny.

          1. MoyestWithExcitement

            Why did my last post asking Nigel if I should call the police for verbally abusing me the other werk get deleted? An explanation would be appreciated.

          2. Nigel

            I bet you have a pet peeve about other people putting words in your mouth and alll. If you didn’t say any of that then you’re not disagreeing with me and we can all get on with our lives

          3. MoyestWithExcitement

            May 4, 2017 at 3:32 pm
            Some people literally make up the arguments of the people they’re arguing with cause it’s just easier”

          4. MoyestWithExcitement

            It’s very curious the posts that Bodge has chosen to protect Nigel from.

          5. Nigel

            Sigh. See a few comments below. My mistake. I thought your reply to Rob was to me. They’re probably trying to protect you from yourself.

          6. MoyestWithExcitement

            While I have you, should I call the police over you verbally assaulting me on this site, Nigey wigey?

          7. Nigel

            Oh? Then up yours, you putting-words-in-people’s-mouths-because-you-can’t-carry-an-argument liability-to-whatever-causes-you-support and call who you like.

          8. MoyestWithExcitement

            Yeah so should I call the police over you verbally abusing me then or what? It seems to be a big deal to you.

          9. rotide

            Why do you bother Nigel? You know exactly how these exchanges turn out, it’s his raison ‘d’etre

          10. MoyestWithExcitement

            The site’s resident angry little troll supports you, Nigey. Be proud.

          11. Nigel

            Are you sure I didn’t say ‘good morning, Moyest’ and you didn’t reply ‘Stop dawn-raiding me and calling me sub-human thug and oppressing my freedom JOAN!’ ? Because I’ve no idea what you’re on about. However I have seen alt-right types disingenuously ask that kind of question when people say negative things about alt-right bullying and abuse, so if you think this is the rhetorical tactic for you, knock yourself out.

          12. MoyestWithExcitement

            No, I’m talking you going on an unhinged rant about me being “awful”. It was quite something. So, police, yeah? I mean, you’re not a hypocrite as well as a callous verbal abuser are you?

          13. MoyestWithExcitement

            Are you not going to hand yourself into the police for that remark?

          14. MoyestWithExcitement

            Oh is the name calling suddenly not a big deal anymore? How odd.

          15. MoyestWithExcitement

            Well yeah. Sorry, just so we’re clear, the “principled” ‘anti misogyny’ stance you’d taken about these protestors calling her names isn’t important anymore? That’s your stance now, yeah?

          16. Nigel

            Well in this thread I’ve been talking about how her demeanor is being questioned in a way I found troubling, and inasmuch as there was misogynistic abuse by some protestors I don’t see why they should be given a pass for it. Very little of the ensuing discussion had much to do with either, but plenty to do with what a jolly pack of trolls we all are. My stance hasn’t changed, but you never showed much interest in it anyway.

          17. MoyestWithExcitement

            Well in fairness, you’re usually engaged in a desperate attempt at getting people to think you’re funny so I usually just keep scrolling but your initial position on these people was that they had to be prosecuted with *something* for calling an old woman names and seeing as you weren’t a lawyer, it wasn’t up to you to say whether false imprisonment was appropriate. Now I reminded you that you’ve been verbally abusive to me and lo and behold, your stance changes. Not so easy to condemn people as monsters for behavior you engage in yourself, is it. I bet if some student from Terenure on a repeal protest hurled abuse at a passing David Quinn you’d have been a lot more understanding. But poor people are just mindless, violent animals.

          18. Nigel

            So you are, in fact, okay with people yelling misogynistic abuse at women? Or is it just okay because they’re, by your description, poor people? Is that because you think they don’t know any better? Do you think they don’t know any better because they’re, by your description, mindless animals? Do you think me calling you awful in a comment is equivalent to a certain number of poor people yelling abuse at a woman and pounding on the window of her car? is that because you think I do know better for some reason? Or the student from Terenure? Do they know better? How do you know the student isn’t poor? How does that factor into your calculations?

            In terms of abuse units, is a single unit of abuse from someone like me the same value as a torrent of abuse from people like them? Tangentially, when someone says a mean thing about an alt-right goon who engages in online bullying and abuse, what’s the abuse exchange rate between that negative thing and units of alt-right goon abuse? Who knows better and to what degree in that equation? How do you gauge their relative wealth and social status in order to make an accurate calculation?

            You know what I realised about you? You’re basically Clamps’ brother from another mother. Neither of you can properly think through the ramifications of what you’re saying. Moyest Outside and Clampers With Excitement.

          19. Nigel

            ‘So you are, in fact, okay with people yelling misogynistic abuse at women’

            I should add I don’t mean ‘whether they should go to jail for it or not’ okay, I just mean whether you’re generally down with it or think it’s uncool.

          20. MoyestWithExcitement

            Holy crap! G’night Nigey. Maybe go for a pint or take up meditation or something.

        2. Anomanomanom

          No one is always going to agree, some will never agree. But like a poster above in an earlier comment using “agenda pushing” argument against someone not agree with them, your constant use of “gymnastics” in the way you mean it is just ridiculous. Just except some agree with and some dont. And although I think this is a ridiculous case, some videos I’ve watched do show scumbags, dregs, whatever you like to call them at the protest. Thats not saying all were.

        3. ollie

          Tallaght, Jobstown, single mothers, feral kids, lazy feckers on the dole.
          Therefore, guilty.
          Or, people being forced to live in a location where there’s no police presence, no investment by local authorities, and little chance of actually getting employment because of your address.
          Meanwhile, Harry Crosbie uses his business to pay his daughter’s mortgage and manages to claim 1.7 million in expenses?
          But to his credit he donates some of these expenses to Fine Gael so that’s ok.

          1. Rob_G

            “Tallaght, Jobstown, single mothers, feral kids, lazy feckers on the dole.”

            – no-one mentioned any of these thing until you did…

          2. Andy

            Harry Crosbie is up in court.

            That information is only available because he is in court being pursued for his debts. Nama are seeking to unwind those transactions.

            What a bizzare and stupid point to make. But when is whataboutery anything but.

    3. know man is an island

      What has that got to do with anything?
      Meandering nonsense.
      The case tests whether the accused falsely imprisoned her or not. Objectively on its face it’s quite clear they did. Anything else is tedious and redundant like the original post here. But you keep warbling on there Nigel like an anti fascist flightless bird. Cheep cheep cheep! Then I expect Clampers will weigh in with some screwy screed about anti-bird anti fascism. Finally Moyest will input some top heavy polemic about the use of the word ‘bird’ connotes sexism and is equally objectionable due to its tone policing elements. Meanwhile villages somewhere are (not) missing their idiots.

      1. Nigel

        You’re the answer to the eternal question: what if God gave someone nobody liked an opinion and nobody cared?

        1. know man is an island

          Yea as if I’d give a fupp about being “liked” by some mind numbing tedious argumentative troll

          1. know man is an island

            You’re an absurd example of everything that is wrong with people on this site. Get a life

  4. Spaghetti Hoop

    I have to say, out of all the global news this week, this court case is the funniest.

  5. DubLoony

    I can’t think of any other trial where there is such criticism has been leveled at a witness.
    AAA or whatever they are calling them selves this week are going to town, literally, with posters, protests and online hate campaign in an attempt to politically influence the outcome of a trail about a public order incident.

    You don’t like her politics fine, she’s out of office.

    How come Leo isn’t getting this treatment?

    1. Increasing Displacement

      I hear he’s sound too. Plus he’s a doctor…so you know he’s a good guy.

    2. bisted

      …I think the trial has shown the Joanny has nothing to learn when it comes to using online messaging to promote hate and influence political perceptions…

    3. ahjayzis

      Leo is a right wing politician implementing a right wing agenda.

      Joan was a left wing politician implementing a right wing agenda.

      Not excusing any of the horrible treatment, but that’s why it’s different.

      1. DubLoony

        Guess the whole IMF / troika / recession / massive unemployment / loss of revenue thing had nothing to do with anything?

        Its history now, thank Christ but AAA still want to use her as the bogeyman. I don’t think they realise how much has changed already.

        1. ahjayzis

          Guess the whole IMF / troika / recession / massive unemployment / loss of revenue thing had nothing to do with anything?

          Certainly not their 2011 manifesto.

        2. MoyestWithExcitement

          Did the recession make her say that people should not protest austerity if they own mobile phones?

          1. Rob_G

            Indeed – we should not be denied Moyest’s rapier wit for even another minute.

            – which of your bitter snarks was it that landed you in moderation, I wonder?

          2. MoyestWithExcitement

            It was when I called you stupid. Oh no wait, that was you. And you still think your an arbiter of civil discourse. Poor Rob. Thanks for hanging around and entertaining us though. Your lack of self awareness never ceases to amaze everyone.

          3. Anomanomanom

            She never said that though,see thats the problem, I do not like Burton but I don’t just make up stuff.

    4. MoyestWithExcitement

      How many other protests have ended in dawn raids and trials for false imprisonment, Dubloony?

  6. newsjustin

    The defence, in doing their job, are following the tried and tested on rape victims technique of suggesting:

    She wasn’t even that bothered
    She’d really being asking for it. What with her behaviour
    She was smiling at one point
    The door was locked from her side. She could have left if she wanted to.

    1. MoyestWithExcitement

      Wow! She’s the same as a rape victim now! People in this absolutely love bending over for anyone with power.

  7. rotide

    Couldn’t agree more with Nigel above. The term Victim blaming is thrown around a lot these parts but is this not a classic example of it?

    It’s also amusing at the amount of people here that seem to be on the jury judging by their exapansive knowledge of all the facts being presented at trial and the guilt/innocence of all parties.

  8. Daisy Chainsaw

    Quick question, why aren’t any of the defendants on trial for false imprisonment of any of the gardai or drivers in the various cars with Ms O’Connell and Ms Burton? Weren’t they as falsely held?

    1. rotide

      They say there’s no stupid questions….

      Maybe if they were directing all their ire at Johnny Car Driver or Joan Ban Gardai, they would be chaged with that. But they didn’t so they aren’t.

      1. MoyestWithExcitement

        More snark and trolling from the resident angry little troll. How has this guy not been banned yet? Destroys every thread he infects.

      2. Daisy Chainsaw

        Either all the people in the car were being falsely imprisoned, or none of them were. It defies logic to think one or two people weren’t as imprisoned as the others. Why is it that only the politician and her assistant were deemed important enough to be falsely imprisoned . Aren’t drivers important enough to matter? Wouldn’t falsely imprisoning a member of AGS be a serious offence?

        1. Cian

          I would think that the driver could have walked away at any stage – (s)he wasn’t the target of the protest. Joan was. Each time JB’s car tried to move it was blocked. When she was moved to a different car it was blocked too. So the peoples were* ‘falsely imprisoning’ JB, not the driver.


    1. Andyourpointiswhatexactly?

      Aye. It’s like Groundhog Day here. Same ole ding-dong day in, day out.

  9. MoyestWithExcitement

    By the way lads, those of you making her gender relevant are actually saying more about your own ‘damsel in distress’/’meek’ attitudes towards women than anything else.

    1. rotide

      Nobody is making her gender relevant Moyest. Use your words properly.

      Some people seem to be raising the issue of her gender, but no-one has made it relevant, because so far it isn’t.

      1. know man is an island

        He must have got a new boyfriend lately. Recently he hasn’t been desperately attention-seeking in here as much as usual (unlike some I could mention)

  10. Kenny U-Vox Plank

    Why are you reporting like this and allowing commentary on a case currently before the courts?

Comments are closed.