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Jobstown Defendants Not Guilty - The Role of the Gardai and the Judicial Process

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  • 29-06-2017 9:04pm
    #1
    Registered Users Posts: 3,434 ✭✭✭


    The six remaining defendants in the Jobstown trial have been found Not Guilty by unanimous verdict in the Central Criminal Court on charges of falsely imprisoning Joan Burton and Karen O'Connell during the Jobstown protest in November 2014.

    From day one there was an orchestrated political campaign against Paul Murphy, Solidarity, other left activists and a community protest designed to clamp down on effective protests against the neo-liberal establishment and their pro-rich austerity policies.

    From the day of the protest false accusations were made by the political establishment - Enda Kenny claimed that Joan Burton was 'effectively kidnapped' - Leo Varadkar claimed that the protest was organised and orchestrated by Paul Murphy and the Anti-Austerity Alliance - David Begg claiming that Karen O'Connell was kicked and beaten by protesters - Noel Coonan claiming that we faced an 'Isis situation' because of Jobstown. The media also played their role with multiple headlines about 'Mob Rule'.

    The Gardai immediately began acting as a political police force - denying the Anti-Austerity Alliance a fund-raising permit on the grounds it could be used for 'illegal purposes'.

    97 Gardai were assigned to investigate the protest. They drafted a list of tasks for the investigation. Number 4 on the list was a door-to-door canvass in Jobstown to gather information about the protest - this was dropped from the task list - as was every other task that might produce evidence that would undermine the attempt to ensure a prosection against Paul Murphy and others on the protest.

    In total 230 witness statements were taken - 180 of them from Gardai who attended the protest - the remaining statements were from Joan Burton, Karen O'Connell and employees of An Cosan. Not one single witness statement was taken from anyone who participated in the protest. Hundreds of hours of video footage was gathered and viewed. It later emerged during cross-examination that Garda wrote their witness statements while viewing the video footage under coaching from the Garda responsible for viewing the video footage.

    The Gardai staged dawn raids on the homes of the defendants, carrying out the arrests with armed units in an attempt to further criminalise the protesters. During questioning Gardai remotely monitored the interviews. One defendants did not even know he was under investigation until his arrest and he was threatened with a life sentence by Gardai during questioning. Another defendant, Ken Purcell, was illegally detained by the Gardai which ultimately resulted in the charges against him being dismissed last week.

    The file sent to the DPP was structured to ensure that the DPP could instigate charges of false imprisonment against protesters. The DPP decided to charge the defendants on indictment in the Central Criminal Court to ensure that the defendants would face charges that on conviction could result in a potential life sentence. This resulted in the defendants having to apply for legal aid which was granted - and the hiring of senior counsel, junior counsel and their support teams for the defendants.

    In the run up to the trial the DPP attempted to gag the defendants - claiming that they were in breach of their bail conditions. The DPP attempted to stop the defendants from commenting on the trial, from being part of the #JobstownNotGuilty campaign, from participating in any support activities for the defendants etc. The defendants arrived at the hearing on the DPP's attempt to change their bail conditions stating that they would refuse to accept any attempt to be gagged and they were willing to go to prison if the Judge ruled in favour of the DPP. Ultimately the judge threw out all the attempts by the DPP to gag the defendants. The DPP also attempted to fix the jury - with the judge throwing out most of the requests.

    Late last year a teenage boy was brought to court charged with the false imprisonment of Joan Burton and Karen O'Connell. The boy was 15 years old at the time of the protest. He is well known locally as a principled young man who is active within his community helping others young and old. He was tried in the judge only Children's Court. He was ultimately convicted on the charge by the judge in the Children's Court - his conviction is being appealed.

    The trial judge decided to split the trial of the remaining 18 Jobstown defendants into three seperate trials against the wishes of all the defendants. The trial of the first seven defendants began on 24 April. The first three defendants on the indictment were Solidarity TD Paul Murphy, Solidarity Councillor Mick Murphy and Solidarity councillor Kieran Mahon - three elected public representatives.

    Almost from the outset the reporting of the trial by the national media was biased against the defendants. The media has a legal responsibility to report court proceedings in a fair and unbiased fashion. At the end of the first week defence counsel raised with the judge the biased nature of the media reports and the judge acknowledged that the reports in the media were biased against the defendants. The national media continued to report the trial in a biased fashion right up until the end of the trial today.

    The prosecution produced Joan Burton, Karen O'Connell, Katherine Zappone and a large number of Gardai as witnesses. Joan Burton testified about how 'frightened' she was during the protest - at one stage she asked for the jury to be removed because she was upset watching a video being shown by the prosecution. However, under cross-examination defence counsel showed the court videos of Joan Burton laughing and joking, reading a newspaper, using her phone and behaving in a generally relaxed fashion in the Garda car. Defence counsel asked her if she told her assistant to go onto social media and post comments about the mothers of Jobstown not taking care of their children. Burton denied that she did this. Yet the defence was able to produce a video recorded on Joan Burton's own phone that showed she did indeed ask her assistant to do what she had denied in testimony. Joan Burton repeatedly avoided or refused to answer questions put to her by defence counsel resulting in the judge instructing her to answer questions. Giving evidence Katherine Zappone contradicted several assertions made by Joan Burton while in the witness box. Karen O'Connell followed Joan Burton's line of testimony - until defence counsel produced the now famous video of Karen O'Connell calling those on the protest the 'f*ucking dregs of society'. It is worth noting that the driver of the Garda jeep turned off the automatic voice recorder in the jeep that would have provided crucial evidence about what Joan Burton and Karen O'Connell discussed while in the jeep.

    However, far more important and revealing was the testimony of the large number of Garda witnesses. Each Garda witness made the same assertion - the protest was organised and orchestrated by Paul Murphy who was supported by the other defendants. One Garda witness accused Paul Murphy of directing people where to go and what to do - yet video evidence produced proved that Paul Murphy did not and could not have been where the Garda claimed he was and done what he was supposed to do. The three most senior Gardai at the protest claimed that Paul Murphy asked the crowd 'will we let her go or will we keep her here all night' - using the exact same terminology. The prosecution argued that this proved that Burton and O'Connell were falsely imprisoned and Paul Murphy was responsible. Defence counsel produced video evidence that proved Paul Murphy never uttered the words 'will we keep her here all night'. It is worth noting that a clip from this video was shown on the RTE news the night of the protest - yet in two years of investigation the Gardai never found this video and didn't include it in the book of evidence.

    Two Gardai during testimony accused Mick Murphy of making verbal threats to Joan Burton. Again the defence produced a video that proved that Mick Murphy did not threaten Joan Burton. Again the Gardai in two years of investigation failed to find this video and include it in the book of evidence. There are numerous other examples of Garda witnesses telling lies and contradicting other prosecution witnesses while giving testimony.

    The prosecution repeatedly made the claim that the vehicle containing the two women was unable to leave and this proved false imprisonment. However, the defence counsel showed in court a video from a Garda helicopter where the pilot is heard saying to the Gardai on the ground 'they could have reversed away from the protest ages ago... No hassle at all' - this was the video the jury requested to see this morning before they returned their not guilty verdict.

    On Monday the judge began her summation and charging the jury. As soon as she finished her directions to the jury, defence counsel lodged objections to the directions the judge had given the jury. Many people have pointed out that the judge in the trial was appointed by the government of which Jan Burton was Tainiste a week after the Jobstown protest. Two days of legal argument followed where the defence barristers hailed the judge over the coals about here directions to the jury. This is very unusual in Irish criminal cases and resulted in the judge recalling the jury to issue new directions again something very unusual in Irish criminal cases. In total the judge had to change completely her directions on 18 specific issues relating to the case - something unheard of. She also admitted making a serious error in judgement during the trial in allowing the jury hear that the defendants could be sentenced to life imprisonment.

    This investigation and trial raises serious issues in relation to the operation of the Gardai and the nature of the judicial process in Ireland. It also raises questions about the influence of the political establishment over the judiciary and the role of the media in promoting a certain political agenda. This was a criminal case that should never have even been instigated more than two years ago by the DPP and the Gardai. Paul Murphy has already called for a public inquiry into the use of the judicial process and the Gardai for political purposes. This was a political investigation and political trial instigated initially by false allegations by leading members of the government and followed through by the Gardai and the DPP. It must also be remembered that the same political leaders and Gardai have engaged in a secret operation, Operation Mizen, headed by the husband of the Garda Commissioner, to spy on the anti-water charges movement.

    The six defendants who were found not guilty today along with a seven defendant who had the charges against him dismissed have had to endure two years of stress, disruption to the family, to their jobs with the possibility of a lengthy prison sentence hanging over their head. The state has wasted €10million on trying to stitch-up political and community activists who have challenged the political consensus of the political establishment in this country.

    Another eleven defendants face charges of false imprisonment and other charges over the next twelve months. Charges where the evidence has been shown to have been falisified and the prosecution witnesses have been proven to be unreliable. The charges against these eleven defendants should immediately be dropped rather than be dragged out for another twelve months forcing them to go through two seperate court cases - and all so the political establishment can attempt to threaten communities who are forced to protest against the impact of government policies.


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Comments

  • Moderators, Entertainment Moderators, Politics Moderators Posts: 14,505 Mod ✭✭✭✭johnnyskeleton


    You seem to be upset that they got a fair trial. I struggle to see what political point you are trying to make, other than that socialists should be exempt from the same laws that everyone else lives by.

    They were charged with offences. There was evidence upon which a jury could convict. A jury of their peers found that they were not guilty. That is justice. Are you saying that the system works or that the system doesn't work?

    The Gardai presented their evidence. Some gardai were accused of lying. One of the defendants had the charges against them dropped after legal argument, so there must not have been sufficient admissible evidence to go before a jury. These things happen. Any of the accused who feel agrieved by the behaviour of the Gardai can complain to the Garda Ombudsman.


  • Registered Users Posts: 3,434 ✭✭✭Jolly Red Giant


    Johnny - if you had read though the post with an open mind - if you read it at all - you would have seen that this entire process was a concerted effort to stitch-up the defendants in a political trial where the Garda witnesses lied repeatedly, where the DPP attempted to fix the trial, where the Garda investigation was designed not to gather evidence but to create a pretext to pursue a vindictive political campaign against the Jobstown protest in general and Solidarity in particular.

    As for the dropping of the charges against Ken Purcell - that was another example of the antics of the Gardai in attempting to manufacture evidence against the defendants - they lied to a judge to get his detention extended.

    This is not about the 'system' working or not working - it is about the attempts by the Gardai, the DPP, and the judge to maipulate the 'system' to try and get a conviction in response to the false allegations made by the political leaders of his state.

    Paul Murphy has already called for an independent inquiry into the conduct of the Gardai in this case - and that is something that is necessary.


  • Registered Users Posts: 1,433 ✭✭✭Needs Must


    Not overly bothered by the verdict but I feel Paul Murphy should go down the gsoc route if he has a complaint. I'm unsure if he has or hasn't done this but I don't think an inquiry or tribunal is necessary.


  • Moderators, Entertainment Moderators, Politics Moderators Posts: 14,505 Mod ✭✭✭✭johnnyskeleton


    Johnny - if you had read though the post with an open mind - if you read it at all - you would have seen that this entire process was a concerted effort to stitch-up the defendants in a political trial where the Garda witnesses lied repeatedly, where the DPP attempted to fix the trial, where the Garda investigation was designed not to gather evidence but to create a pretext to pursue a vindictive political campaign against the Jobstown protest in general and Solidarity in particular.

    I did but thats just your opinion. The gardai were accused of lying but that doesnt mean that they were. If they were, a complaint can be lodged with the garda ombudsman.

    The DPP made requests of the Judge to ensure impartiality of jurors - which the defence could also do - and not all of these were acceded to by the Judge. Perfectly ordinary business of court does not demonstrate a grand conspiracy.

    If the Gardai chose not to do door to door inquiries that is their choice. They are usually done in murder cases etc where there is no other evidence. Here there was CCTV etc so door to doors would probably be pointless.

    Again, all signs of a perfectly functional justice system that the system works.
    As for the dropping of the charges against Ken Purcell - that was another example of the antics of the Gardai in attempting to manufacture evidence against the defendants - they lied to a judge to get his detention extended.

    I dont know why the charges were dropped but that is a specific legal decision. Im struggling to see how this is a political issue. Im sure there are those who want to see it become a political issue, and no doubt others who were frustrated because they wanted guilty verdicts as a sign of the corrupt capitalist society we live in. But thats not what happened.
    This is not about the 'system' working or not working - it is about the attempts by the Gardai, the DPP, and the judge to maipulate the 'system' to try and get a conviction in response to the false allegations made by the political leaders of his state.

    Well of course they were trying to get a conviction. Thats their job. Where there is evidence that could lead to a conviction they get it before a jury and a jury decides. Theres no manipulation in that.
    Paul Murphy has already called for an independent inquiry into the conduct of the Gardai in this case - and that is something that is necessary.

    I dunno. To be honest Joan Burton was put in a very horrible position and so they investigated and sent it to the DPP. Im glad they did even if it resulted in acquittals. Its what their job requires of them.

    Does it deserve an inquiry? I dont think so. The trial has vindicated the accused. That should be enough. An inquiry on the civil standard could well tarnish Murphys name.


  • Registered Users Posts: 981 ✭✭✭Bishopsback


    Wasn't there a 17 year old lad, who was 15 at the time of the protest, convicted on a charge of false imprisonment in the juvenile court last year?
    What would the implications of yesterdays verdict be on his conviction?


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  • Registered Users Posts: 27,877 ✭✭✭✭blanch152




    Does it deserve an inquiry? I dont think so. The trial has vindicated the accused. That should be enough. An inquiry on the civil standard could well tarnish Murphys name.



    Murphy knows he won't get an enquiry.

    A public enquiry would hear all the evidence, including that ruled out by the judge in a criminal trial, and would only require civil level of proof to find against Murphy. Nearly worth giving him one to see what happens but it would be a colossal waste of money.


  • Registered Users Posts: 68,826 ✭✭✭✭FrancieBrady


    When a judge directs the jury to ignore the sworn testimony of gardai (186, (I think) statements) then there should be an automatic enquiry.


  • Registered Users Posts: 3,434 ✭✭✭Jolly Red Giant


    Wasn't there a 17 year old lad, who was 15 at the time of the protest, convicted on a charge of false imprisonment in the juvenile court last year?
    What would the implications of yesterdays verdict be on his conviction?

    This conviction is currently being appealed


  • Registered Users Posts: 7,649 ✭✭✭Floppybits


    When a judge directs the jury to ignore the sworn testimony of gardai (186, (I think) statements) then there should be an automatic enquiry.

    Only in properly functioning countries where there is a clear separation between the government, Law and media. Unfortunately in this country these 3 are living in each others pockets.

    Look at the headlines in all today's newspapers and hardly any of them have this story as their headline. They just want to bury it like they tried to bury the protesters.


  • Registered Users Posts: 3,434 ✭✭✭Jolly Red Giant


    The media have embarked on a major backlash against the Not Guilty verdicts from yesterday. Legal 'experts' being dragged out to attack the #JobstownNotGuilty campaign in the mainstream media.

    This is an attempt to circle the wagons as the attempt to stitch-up Paul Murphy and the other defendants blew up spectacularly in their faces.

    There are very serious implications for what happened in the Garda investigation and the conduct of Gardai during the trial. This comes after the treatment of Garda whistleblowers, the fiddling of Garda figures, the accusations of fraud etc etc etc. There is a culture within the garda establishment that they are untouchable and this must be challenged. There should be a public inquiry and at the very least the Jobstown trial should form part of a wider inquiry into the actions of the Gardai in a whole series of controversies.


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  • Moderators, Politics Moderators, Social & Fun Moderators Posts: 15,481 Mod ✭✭✭✭Quin_Dub


    Wasn't there a 17 year old lad, who was 15 at the time of the protest, convicted on a charge of false imprisonment in the juvenile court last year?
    What would the implications of yesterdays verdict be on his conviction?

    I thought he was convicted of breach of the peace , criminal damage etc. ?

    Didn't think he had been charged with False Imprisonment..


  • Registered Users Posts: 51,885 ✭✭✭✭tayto lover


    I've been on several peaceful water protests in Dublin and Dundalk.
    I have no time for Joan Burton either.
    What i saw on the t.v. at the Jobstown protest was an out of control rabble who clearly prevented her car from moving, jostled with the garda, and created a state of fear for any decent person in that area.
    How any jury found them innocent baffles me. Perhaps individually it was a hard case to prove but the 6 were in the thick of things. There were a lot of thugs there on the day.
    However that's the verdict and we have to live with it.


  • Closed Accounts Posts: 7,964 ✭✭✭For Reals


    I've been on several peaceful water protests in Dublin and Dundalk.
    I have no time for Joan Burton either.
    What i saw on the t.v. at the Jobstown protest was an out of control rabble who clearly prevented her car from moving, jostled with the garda, and created a state of fear for any decent person in that area.
    How any jury found them innocent baffles me. Perhaps individually it was a hard case to prove but the 6 were in the thick of things. There were a lot of thugs there on the day.
    However that's the verdict and we have to live with it.

    Because the crowd wasn't on trial.
    Beyond Murphy and Co. it's very important the right to protest is protected especially in the face of obvious bias political representation and elements within the media. I'm surprised they got off, it read like a stitch up from day one in my opinion. Those in charge of the state seem to view the greater public as bothersome children needing to be told.


  • Registered Users Posts: 51,885 ✭✭✭✭tayto lover


    For Reals wrote: »
    Because the crowd wasn't on trial.
    Saddam Hussein could have used the same argument.


  • Closed Accounts Posts: 7,964 ✭✭✭For Reals


    Saddam Hussein could have used the same argument.

    Say what?
    Anyone you might have saw that you felt was part of a mob, wasn't on trial. The Judge can only Judge people put before her.
    It seems some of the Garda had the same sense of confusion.


  • Moderators, Politics Moderators, Sports Moderators Posts: 24,269 Mod ✭✭✭✭Chips Lovell


    Few things. You have to ask serious questions of the Gardai and DPP after this. Given that much of the incident was recorded on video, they still managed not to secure a single conviction. That seems partly down to their evidence contradicting what was on video and partly down to (in one case at least) charging the wrong people.

    As with many scenarios, a useful test as to whether you're viewing it with partisan tinted glasses, is to ask yourself if your opinions would be the same if different parties were involved. What if Paul Murphy were the minister and the protesters were led by Joan Burton or a figure from another party? Or if it were a Sinn Fein politician being detained by a Loyalist mob? Would your read on this be any different?
    There was footage of the moment when gardaormed a cordon to allow the two women to run from one vehicle to the other. The crowd surged up against the two lines of gardawhich quickly collapsed. “Get the c**ts” someone could be heard shouting. The dash took approximately 30 seconds and, from what the two women said in evidence, was a particularly terrifying moment.

    Finally, I've never been gone on the phrase "establishment" which, like "elites" seems to be a handy catch-all phrase for "people who don't agree with me". If there is such a thing as an establishment, an elected member of parliament is certainly at the heart of it.


  • Registered Users Posts: 3,434 ✭✭✭Jolly Red Giant


    blanch152 wrote: »
    A public enquiry would hear all the evidence, including that ruled out by the judge in a criminal trial, and would only require civil level of proof to find against Murphy. Nearly worth giving him one to see what happens but it would be a colossal waste of money.
    It 'inquiry' - and the only evidence ruled out by the judge in the case favoured the defence.

    Like many others who hate Paul Murphy because of his politics - you have no problem with gardai lying on the witness stand to try and get a false conviction


  • Registered Users Posts: 3,434 ✭✭✭Jolly Red Giant


    Quin_Dub wrote: »
    Didn't think he had been charged with False Imprisonment..

    A teenager who was 15 at the time of the protest was convicted of false imprisonment in a judge only childrens court on the basis of the same evidence from gardai.

    The conviction is being appealed.


  • Registered Users Posts: 3,434 ✭✭✭Jolly Red Giant


    What i saw on the t.v. at the Jobstown protest was an out of control rabble who clearly prevented her car from moving, jostled with the garda, and created a state of fear for any decent person in that area.
    How any jury found them innocent baffles me. Perhaps individually it was a hard case to prove but the 6 were in the thick of things. There were a lot of thugs there on the day.

    Because the jury accepted that the protest was peaceful and they ignored the lies of gardai on the witness stand


  • Registered Users Posts: 51,885 ✭✭✭✭tayto lover


    Because the jury accepted that the protest was peaceful and they ignored the lies of gardai on the witness stand
    So all the stuff on the News was a figment of my imagination? All the banging on the car, the blocking of the car the insults being roared .... none of that happened?


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  • Closed Accounts Posts: 7,964 ✭✭✭For Reals


    Few things. You have to ask serious questions of the Gardai and DPP after this. Given that much of the incident was recorded on video, they still managed not to secure a single conviction. That seems partly down to their evidence contradicting what was on video and partly down to (in one case at least) charging the wrong people.

    As with many scenarios, a useful test as to whether you're viewing it with partisan tinted glasses, is to ask yourself if your opinions would be the same if different parties were involved. What if Paul Murphy were the minister and the protesters were led by Joan Burton or a figure from another party? Or if it were a Sinn Fein politician being detained by a Loyalist mob? Would your read on this be any different?



    Finally, I've never been gone on the phrase "establishment" which, like "elites" seems to be a handy catch-all phrase for "people who don't agree with me". If there is such a thing as an establishment, an elected member of parliament is certainly at the heart of it.

    I feel Murphy is generally a distraction from issues of public interest, from the water quango and charges to this. He's used as a whipping boy by government and elements of the media. He was a handy figure when vilifying the general public wasn't working out PR wise. I'm sure he's not complaining about the notoriety it brings with it. The chap is a minor league politician. This should be a bigger issue than who was involved or what party they are affiliated with.
    I see it as a rowdy frustrated mob and some may have probably been charged with disturbing the peace. However sitting down to block a car or block a gate or road is a common form of protest. These people, the ones charged were set to be stitched up, only saved by video evidence it seems. The whole process stank.
    There is an establishment. But it's not some Victorian secret society. As Enda Kenny referred to them, there is an elite of vested interests with the ear of some politicians they back/fund. The same goes for state bodies dependent on each other and the personalities involved. It's not some nefarious secret organisation, it's a changable set of people out to look after themselves and their own, coloured by the government of the day.
    The 'establishment' was out to quell broad public discontentment and targeted Murphy. The Garda acted shamefully, IMO. They were not impartial.


  • Registered Users Posts: 934 ✭✭✭mikep


    This was always going to end in claims of a conspiracy..
    The defendants are acquitted : conspiracy
    Had the defendants been found guilty : conspiracy
    It looks to me that the guards screwed up, I'd say the DPP is not amused..


  • Registered Users Posts: 2,965 ✭✭✭Help!!!!


    In fairness the case should never had gone to trial. Joan Burton comes out of this as a spiteful ( insert word ) who was stuck in a car while people demonstrated. Did she really think that with today's technology should could get away with lying that she feared for her life when a video from inside the car had her laughing & joking. This case has cost the country how many millions?


  • Closed Accounts Posts: 7,964 ✭✭✭For Reals


    mikep wrote: »
    This was always going to end in claims of a conspiracy..
    The defendants are acquitted : conspiracy
    Had the defendants been found guilty : conspiracy
    It looks to me that the guards screwed up, I'd say the DPP is not amused..

    That's the question.
    Incompetent or dishonest? Out to stitch up or just doing a poor job?
    When you factor in the political weight aimed at the protesters during that period and the poor job of being impartial defenders of the law carried out by the Garda, is it surprising?


  • Posts: 0 [Deleted User]


    What about the defendants trying to influence the judicial process with their huge social media activities? Paul Murphy had to be told to stop tweeting from the courtroom.
    The verdict was the correct one IMO. That doesn't make what happened that day right. The actions of the baying mob who happen to have a different viewpoint to Ms Burton were deplorable. The right to peaceful protest is and always will be our right. That was not a peaceful protest.


  • Registered Users Posts: 68,826 ✭✭✭✭FrancieBrady


    What about the defendants trying to influence the judicial process with their huge social media activities? Paul Murphy had to be told to stop tweeting from the courtroom.
    The verdict was the correct one IMO. That doesn't make what happened that day right. The actions of the baying mob who happen to have a different viewpoint to Ms Burton were deplorable. The right to peaceful protest is and always will be our right. That was not a peaceful protest.

    The judicial process has to be, as it always has had to be, immune from outside influence. There was always a threat to it from many sources.


  • Registered Users Posts: 3,253 ✭✭✭jackofalltrades


    Because the jury accepted that the protest was peaceful and they ignored the lies of gardai on the witness stand
    Based on what?


  • Registered Users Posts: 934 ✭✭✭mikep


    ForReals, I think the incompetence of the guards got the defendants off.. If it was a stitch up do you honestly think the audio from the helicopter, which seems to have been crucial, would have been released?
    Murphy and Co. know all too well creating a bogeyman is the best way to garner support for their ideology.


  • Moderators, Politics Moderators, Sports Moderators Posts: 24,269 Mod ✭✭✭✭Chips Lovell


    The jury simply said "not guilty". There was no comment made on the peacefulness of the protest or lack thereof.


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  • Closed Accounts Posts: 7,964 ✭✭✭For Reals


    mikep wrote: »
    ForReals, I think the incompetence of the guards got the defendants off.. If it was a stitch up do you honestly think the audio from the helicopter, which seems to have been crucial, would have been released?
    Murphy and Co. know all too well creating a bogeyman is the best way to garner support for their ideology.

    Three Garda making the exact same error is an odd one for sure. I feel the Judge looked at the flawed evidence given and weighed it up against dawn raids on the likes of Murphy and had little option.
    I think in this day and age no individual or body has complete control over what comes into the public domain.
    Murphy and Co. have no more or less chance of rising in the polls because of this. They will most likely make great political capital out of it, that's what politicians tend to do, but as a tax payer, Murphy or no, the whole affair stinks IMO.

    EDIT:
    Just for transparency; I've protested alongside Joan and Michael D.


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