Date set for trial of Joan Collins and 10 other water protesters

TD and co-defendants charged with failing to comply with garda’s directions to disperse

 Joan Collins TD pictured speaking to media outside Dublin District Court. Photograph:  Collins Courts

Joan Collins TD pictured speaking to media outside Dublin District Court. Photograph: Collins Courts

 

United Left TD Joan Collins and 10 co-defendants will face trial in February on public order charges arising out of an anti-Irish Water protest in Dublin.

The politician faced her second hearing at Dublin District Court on Monday. She and her co-defendants are accused of failing to comply with a garda’s direction to leave the vicinity at Parnell Road, Harold’s Cross on April 20th last. Two of her co-defendants face additional charges for obstructing gardaí.

Ms Collins’s solicitor Cahir O’Higgins told Judge Michael Walsh that a hearing date was sought, meaning she and her co-defendants will be contesting the case.

When they first faced court on November 2nd last, Mr O’Higgins said the case raised complex constitutional issues in relation to the right to protest. Their public order charges are to remain in the District Court and can result in maximum sentences of eight and 12 months.

Mr O’Higgins sought an early hearing date, adding Ms Collins was innocent and “needed to clear her good name prior to the election”.

CCTV evidence

Disclosure of video of evidence has already been disclosed and other CCTV footage was sought.

The court heard footage from a local Maxol garage had been taped over and Mr O’Higgins said this would have provided alibis for three of his clients, and he would be seeking a strike-out in their cases. Information was also sought as to whether UTV Ireland had any more footage available.

The judge ordered that the trial would take place over three days - February 15th, 16th and 17th.

After the hearing, the TD told reporters she “and the other Crumlin 10” were happy to get an early trial date and “will continue to plead not guilty, that is our position”.

Her co-defendants are:

Patrick Burke (50) of Dolphin House Rialto, who faces a single charge for failing to comply with a garda’s direction to leave the vicinity;

United Left Alliance councillor Patrick Dunne (48) with an address at St Gerard’s Road, Greenhills, who faces the same charge;

Edel Kenny (39) of Monasterboice Road, who is accused of failing to comply with a garda’s direction, but has an additional charge for obstructing a garda;

Sofian Murphy (29) from Dolphin Road, Drimnagh, who is accused of failing to comply with a garda’s direction and also has an additional charge for obstructing a garda;

Oisin O Ra (18) from Derravaragh Road in Terenure, who faces a single charge of failing to comply with a garda direction in connection with the incident;

Gavin Byrne (42) of Temple Manor Way, Greenhills, Dublin 12, who is also accused of accused of failing to comply with a garda’s direction;

Aaron Healy (25) from Saul Road, Crumlin, who also faces a charge of not obeying a garda, and

Patrick Waine (56) of St Malachy’s Drive, Walkinstown; John O’Reilly (62) from Leighland Road, Crumlin, and Andrew Canning (55) from Clanbrassil Close, Clanbrassil Street, Dublin 8, who also face the same charge of failing to comply with a garda’s direction.