Joan Collins’s co-defendant cleared in water protest case

Independent TD accused of failing to comply with garda’s directions in ‘Crumlin 11’ trial

Dublin city councillor Patrick Dunne has been cleared of a criminal offence for failing to leave the vicinity of a water protest in Dublin last year.

TD Joan Collins told gardaí she had a right to protest and would not move when asked to let a GMC-Sierra water meter installation crew in Dublin do their work, the Dublin District Court has heard.

The Independent TD is before the court for what has been called the “Crumlin 11” trial. Gardaí have given evidence that GMC-Sierra staff were threatened by water protesters at Parnell Road in Crumlin on the morning of April 20th last year.

Ms Collins and her 10 co-defendants, including Mr Dunne (48) with an address at St Gerard’s Road, Greenhills, had been accused of failing to comply with a garda’s direction to leave the vicinity. Two of her co-defendants have additional charges for obstructing gardaí. All 11 have pleaded not guilty.



Mr Dunne was cleared yesterday by Judge Aeneas McCarthy who dismissed his case. The trial of the remaining 10 continues today.

The court heard that the Dublin South-Central TD and Mr Dunne arrived at the scene where a team of GMC-Sierra meter installers were attempting to work but were met by protesters.

Garda Sgt David Lynch told the court that when he arrived at Parnell Road he saw six or seven people interfering with workers. Later on there were about 30-40 protesters there, he said. He claimed he received verbal abuse and was called a “f***ing scumbag”.

He told the court that he, other gardaí and the GMC-Sierra workers were threatened. However, he agreed that Mr Dunne was neither abusive nor using foul language and had not committed an offence.

He said a youth threatened that “they would have a group of 50-100 and we would need every car in Crumlin to police it”. He said he asked the group to desist numerous times.

He spoke to Ms Collins and Mr Dunne and another councillor “to get some middle ground to let GMC/Sierra workers do their work or leave” and was told by the TD that “they were entitled to protest and they were not going to move”.