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Today’s Irish Daily Mail; Jobstown protest in 2014; Ken Purcell arriving at the Criminal Courts of Justice in Dublin last month

Further to a jury last Thursday returning a unanimous ‘not guilty’ verdict to the Jobstown protesters – who had been charged with the false imprisonment of former Tánaiste Joan Burton and her adviser Karen O’Connell…

It’s being reported that on Friday, two superintendents who recommended to the DPP that the protesters be charged with false imprisonment – an offence which carries a penalty of up to life imprisonment – were promoted.

In today’s Irish Daily Mail, Journalist Ali Bracken reports:

The two superintendents who recommended that the recently acquitted Jobstown protesters be charged with false imprisonment have been promoted to the rank of chief superintendent.

Superintendents Brian Sutton and Peter Duff, both based in Dublin Metropolitan Region South, led the investigation into the so-called Jobstown Seven.

…On Friday, 15 superintendents were informed that they have been promoted to the rank of chief superintendent following an interview selection process. Their appointments were made by the independent Policing Authority.

Further to this.

Readers will recall how the false imprisonment charges against one of the Jobstown protesters, Ken Purcell, were dropped on June 12 after Judge Melanie Greally ruled that an extension to Mr Purcell’s detention was unlawful.

Mr Purcell had been arrested at his home in Tallaght at 7.28am on February 13, 2015, by Garda Darren Rooney.

Mr Purcell’s initial detention was authorised by Sergeant Carlin Cullen – based on information Garda Rooney gave Sgt Cullen which he had obtained from viewing video footage, and information which Judge Melanie Greally later found to be “inaccurate and exaggerated”.

On February 13, 2015, Mr Purcell’s detention was extended by Supt Peter Duff, at 1.11pm, also based on information given to him by Garda Rooney. This extension was found to be unlawful.

Judge Greally ruled:

The information imparted by Garda Rooney was based on his viewing of video footage and for the purposes of this application can be divided into three limbs. The first limb is the description of the accused at two stages where he is said to have struggled with gardaí.

The second is an account of the accused behaving aggressively in front of the jeep when it was attempting to leave the grounds of Saint Thomas’s Church and the third is what is accepted to be accurate information concerning his participation in a sit down in front of the jeep on Fortunestown Road.

In Garda Rooney’s description of Kenneth Purcell’s conduct around the Avensis he stated he was start of the crowd and could be seen struggling with gardaí. Similarly, during the transfer from the Avensis to the garda jeep he was said to have struggled with gardaí.

A viewing of the footage by this Court showed no identifiable physical engagement between the accused and any member of An Garda Síochána, either at the Avensis or during the transfer.

A more accurate appraisal of his actions during the transfer from the Avensis to the jeep is that he can be seen in the footage moving from a somewhat peripheral position towards the advancing group of gardaí and protesters and he is subsequently visible in the thick of it.

Therefore the information imparted to Sergeant Cullen in this regard was inaccurate and exaggerated.

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