Taoiseach’s remarks on Jobstown protest
Sir, – I would like to comment on the Taoiseach’s remarks to Paul Murphy TD in the Dáil on July 12th. He stated that Mr Murphy received a fair trial and was acquitted. This is a true statement of fact, but I would ask him what the outcome of the trial would have been if video evidence had not been available to disprove the testimony of the Garda Síochána?
I would be fearful of having to go on trial based on Garda statements, and I would hope that video evidence would be available to prove exactly what happened.
I think far from making himself out to be a victim, Mr Murphy has every right to ask for an examination of how the Garda Síochána got its statements and testimony wrong. – Yours, etc,
A chara, – The Taoiseach is entirely accurate in his description of the Jobstown “protest” and is to be congratulated for calling a spade a spade. – Is mise,
Sir, – As one who has never once voted for Fine Gael, and who has participated in a plethora of peaceful protests over many years, I applaud the Taoiseach for his forthright and unvarnished words in calling the treatment of Joan Burton and Karen O’Connell at Jobstown exactly what it was, thuggery. Leo Varadkar clearly is a Taoiseach with backbone and that has to be admired. – Yours, etc,
Sir, – Whatever the merits of the case made by Paul Murphy TD in the Dáil, he at least was present in the court for the entirety of the recent trial. The Taoiseach was not.
The jury decided that Paul Murphy was not guilty. Why then should the Taoiseach state in the Dáil that Paul Murphy should apologise? For what? Was he not making an unjustified finding from a case that he had not heard?
He would have been better saying nothing. He made an impossible situation worse. – Yours, etc,
Sir, – Leo Varadkar has gone up in my estimation hugely following his criticism of Paul Murphy. Is Mr Murphy’s definition of acceptable behaviour anything that is not illegal? – Yours, etc,
Sir, – Don’t be ridiculous, Taoiseach. Mr Murphy isn’t big enough for apologies. – Yours, etc,
Sir, – Leo Varadkar thinks that Paul Murphy should apologise to Joan Burton and Karen O’Connell but does not think anyone should say sorry to Mr Murphy.
The former tánaiste and her advisor undoubtedly had an extremely miserable afternoon in Jobstown. However, the Solidarity TD, and the other defendants, had long prison sentences hanging over them for two years, in what we now know were very dubious circumstances and on the basis of very questionable Garda evidence.
I know who I think has suffered the greatest trauma and is most deserving of an apology. It is a further perversion of natural justice for the Taoiseach to suggest anything else. – Yours, etc,