Jobstown protest charges ‘over the top’, says Adams

Sinn Féin leader says demonstration got ‘out of hand’ but response was ‘disproportionate’

Sinn Féin leader Gerry Adams has described charges brought against 27 protesters following an anti-water charge protest in Jobstown in November as “disproportionate and over the top”.

 

Sinn Féin leader Gerry Adams has described charges brought against 27 protesters following an anti-water charge protest in Jobstown in November as “disproportionate and over the top”.

“We are very, very concerned at the way the State has responded to this political opposition to the Government’s policies,” Mr Adams said.

Of the 27 summonses being sent to suspects, 14 relate to the alleged false imprisonment of Tánaiste Joan Burton and her assistant Karen O’Connell while other suspects are to be charged with violent disorder and criminal damage.

Mr Adams said it was the party’s view that the protest had “got out of hand, that it was stupid” but said “the charging of so many people on such serious offences is disproportionate [and] will do little to sustain public confidence when compared to what’s happening with those engaged in white collar crime”.

Paul Murphy TD of the Anti-Austerity Alliance has already said he expects to be charged with false imprisonment.

The alliance has been refused a permit to collect money because of its involvement in protests which led to public disorder.

Chief Supt Orla McPartlin first refused the alliance a permit to collect in the Tallaght/Jobstown area last month. She cited her decision under section 9 (c) of the Street and House to House Collection Act 1962.

Mr Murphy claimed it was “blatant political policing”.

He suggested the refusal by Ms McPartlin was related to the protests in Jobstown.

“We will be appealing this blatant political policing all the way through the courts.”