Seven teens appear in court over Jobstown protest

Youths aged 14 to 18 charged over incident last November which saw Joan Burton trapped in car

Seven youths aged between 14 and 18 have appeared in court on charges connected to the Jobstown protest last November during which Tánaiste Joan Burton was trapped in her car for over two hours.

Seven youths aged between 14 and 18 have appeared in court on charges connected to the Jobstown protest last November during which Tánaiste Joan Burton was trapped in her car for over two hours.

 

Seven youths aged between 14 and 18 have appeared in court on charges connected to the Jobstown protest last November during which Tánaiste Joan Burton was allegedly trapped in her car for more than two hours.

The youths, who could all face custodial sentences, had their cases adjourned until later dates and a guilty plea was entered by just one of them to a charge of criminal damage and violent disorder.

The Dublin Children’s Court heard he was already serving a sentence for earlier offences and he had behavioural and drug problems, and was deemed to be at a high risk of re-offending as a result of his issues.

About a hundred people turned up at the courthouse to support to the teenagers.

The Labour leader was leaving a graduation ceremony on November 15th last at the An Cosan education facility in Jobstown, Tallaght when the incident occurred.

Gardaí allege protesters tried to “get at” the Ms Burton and there were a number of violent incidents, officers pushed and missiles thrown.

Several adults, including Anti-Austerity Alliance TD Paul Murphy are due to appear in court next week in connection with the incident. The youths face charges including violent disorder, criminal damage and false imprisonment arising out of the alleged incident at Fortunestown Road.

The young males all come from the Tallaght area and had been served with summons in July.

Three of them are aged 16, one 15, one 17, one 18 and he youngest is 14 but was 13 at the time. The prosecution has been brought by Tallaght Garda Supt Peter Duff and an outline of the allegations was given by Det Garda Paul Smith.

Six of them, including the 14-year-old boy, are charged with violent disorder by using or threatening to use unlawful violence causing others to fear for their safety.

Two of the 16-year-old boys and the 18-year-old youth also have an additional charge for criminal damage to window of an unmarked Garda car. The court heard it was smashed during alleged disturbances.

Another 16-year-old faces two charges for false imprisonment of Ms Burton and her adviser Karen O’Connell, who were in a ministerial car which was surrounded by protesters.

Judge John O’Connor heard the 16-year-old boy who pleaded guilty to criminal damage and violent disorder, initially wanted his case finalised on Thursday but the judge noted that the latest welfare reports on him were negative. His solicitor Michelle Finan said the boy regrets his involvement in the incident.

She later confirmed that the teen agreed to an adjournment until November 26th for updated reports to be furnished. He is serving a custodial sentence, which is due to expire in January, for theft offences.

The DPP has recommended the remaining five juveniles be tried in the Children’s Court and not in the circuit court which has tougher sentencing powers. Judge John O’Connor said a preliminary hearing would have to take place to establish if the Children’s Court would accept jurisdiction. The teens were ordered to appear again in December.

The 18-year-old, Calvin Carlyle, from Gleann na hEorna, Tallaght, is now an adult and could not attend. His mother explained that he was unwell and Judge O’Connor ordered him to appear next week.

State solicitor Rachel Joyce said the DPP had directed that unlike the juveniles, he should be tried in the circuit court.