Jury to begin deliberations in Jobstown trial on Monday

Six men deny false imprisonment of Joan Burton and her adviser during water protest

Clockwise from top left: Kieran Mahon, Michael Banks, Paul Murphy, Michael Murphy, Scott Masterson, Frank Donaghy.

Clockwise from top left: Kieran Mahon, Michael Banks, Paul Murphy, Michael Murphy, Scott Masterson, Frank Donaghy.

 

The jury in the trial of six men accused of falsely imprisoning former tánaiste Joan Burton during a water charges protest is due to begin deliberations on Monday.

Closing speeches ended on Friday morning with defence lawyers telling the jury the State had failed to bring a charge that could be proven.

On day 36 of the trial at Dublin Circuit Criminal Court, Judge Melanie Greally told the jury she will deliver her charge on Monday morning and they will then begin deliberations.

Earlier, Ciaran O’Loughlin SC, representing Michael Banks, gave the final closing speech to the jury.

Mr Banks (46) is charged along with Solidarity TD Paul Murphy and four other men of falsely imprisoning Ms Burton and her adviser Karen O’Connell by restricting their personal liberty without consent at Fortunestown Road, Jobstown, Tallaght on November 15th, 2014. The seven men have pleaded not guilty.

Cars surrounded

The prosecution has alleged Mr Banks acted with the other defendants to falsely imprison Ms Burton and Ms O’Connell by surrounding their cars.

Sean Gillane SC, prosecuting, told the jury earlier this week that video footage taken from inside the car showed Mr Banks making “crude and unpleasant gestures” at the women and yelling obscenities.

The trial heard that in a Garda interview, Mr Banks accepted blocking the Toyota Avensis. When asked whether it was able to leave, he replied: “How could it when we were sitting behind it?”

The court also previously heard evidence from Garda Jonathan Ryan, who said Mr Banks called him a wife-beater after he had helped a woman in the crowd who had fallen.

Mr O’Loughlin told the jury that during the trial they had seen several video clips of footage taken during the protest that day. He submitted that by watching that footage, they saw “everything that happened” that day.

Mr O’Loughlin accepted his client had used language that was “rude and vulgar”, but that was not an offence.

‘Not a crime’

“Simply to use insulting words is not a crime,” he said.

He said the jury should also disregard any evidence of possible “argy-bargy” between Mr Banks and Garda Ryan. “It’s nothing to do with the matters you’re concerned about,” he said. “Giving lip to a garda is not an offence.”

He urged the jury to find his client not guilty.

Paul Murphy of Kingswood Heights, Tallaght; Kieran Mahon of Bolbrook Grove, Tallaght; Michael Murphy of Whitechurch Way, Ballyboden, Dublin; Frank Donaghy of Alpine Rise, Tallaght; Michael Banks (46) of Brookview Green, Tallaght and Scott Masterson of Carrigmore Drive, Tallaght have all denied the charges.