Joan Collins TD facing charges over April protest

Dublin South Central TD says charges an attempt to break water charges movement

Joan Collins TD: Due in court in November. Photograph: Gareth Chaney/Collins

Joan Collins TD: Due in court in November. Photograph: Gareth Chaney/Collins

 

United Left Alliance TD Joan Collins has been summonsed to appear in court charged with alleged public order offences at an anti-water charge protest in April.

The TD for Dublin South Central tweeted on Friday night that she received a summons commanding her to attend a sitting of the Dublin Metropolitan District Court on November 2nd.

Ms Collins is one of 13 people summonsed in connection with the protest. The summons alleges that the offences were committed on April 20th at Parnell Road, Crumlin.

“The group of protesters said that they see these court cases as an attack on the right to peaceful protest and free assembly,” Ms Collins said in a statement.

The TD said the protesters “maintain that there was no disorder and therefore the Public Order Act should not have been evoked.”

“This is effectively a political trial orchestrated by the State to try and break the Water Charges movement,” she said.

Describing the charges as “part of a general attack by the state on the whole water charges movement,” she said it should be seen in the context of “the massive success of the Right2 Water Campaign, a campaign that has mobilised thousands of people in opposition to water charges”.

“We will fight these charges and will continue to protest and defend that right,” she added.

Ms Collins is due in court on the same date as fellow TD Paul Murphy who, along with 27 others, is due in court on separate charges relating to a protest at Fortunestown Road, Jobstown, west Dublin last year.

Commenting on the summons issued to Joan Collins, Mr Murphy said it was “a new attack on the right to protest.”

Mr Murphy called on the public to show solidarity with Ms Collins by attending a protest this afternoon at the Central Bank in Dublin.