Paul Murphy accuses gardaí of political policing after permit denied

Irish Water campaigner to appeal decision on fundraising for Anti-Austerity Alliance

Anti-Austerity Alliance TD Paul Murphy has said his party intends to appeal a Garda decision not to allow members to fundraise in west Dublin.

Mr Murphy accused the Garda chief superintendent for Dublin South Division of political policing over her decision not to allow street and house-to-house collections in the Tallaght/Jobstown area.

He estimated the refusal would cost the alliance, which has been involved in water charges protests and encourages householders not to pay Irish Water bills, about €10,000, which would have been used to campaign in the next general election.

In a letter published by Mr Murphy on his website, Chief Supt Orla McPartlin denied the alliance a permit under section 9 (c) of the Street and House to House Collection Act 1962.


The Act states that a “chief superintendent shall not grant a collection permit for any collection in respect of which (s)he is of opinion that . . . proceeds of the collection or any portion thereof would be used in such a manner as to encourage, either directly or indirectly, the commission of an unlawful act”.

Mr Murphy said the alliance had applied for 11 permits and had been granted six.

"At least one garda and potentially numerous people at the top of the gardaí have a real problem with the Anti-Austerity Alliance," he told RTÉ Radio. "They have a problem with the movement of civil disobedience . . . We're being punished for our political status."

A senior legal source said it could be construed as a crime under the Prevention of Terrorism Act 1939 to advocate the withholding of money due to a State body. Section 18 (f) makes it illegal “to promote, encourage or advocate the non-payment of moneys payable to the Central Fund or any other public fund or the non-payment of local taxation”.

Ronan McGreevy

Ronan McGreevy

Ronan McGreevy is a news reporter with The Irish Times