Saturday 22 October 2016

Date set for trial of TD Joan Collins over protests

Andrew Phelan

Published 01/12/2015 | 02:30

United Left Alliance TD Joan Collins
United Left Alliance TD Joan Collins

TD Joan Collins and a group of 10 anti-water charge protesters have pleaded not guilty to public order offences following a protest against the installation of water meters.

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Their trial will take place at Dublin District Court next February.

The United Left Alliance TD is accused of a public order offence arising from a protest against the installation of meters in Harold's Cross. She is accused of failing to comply with Garda directions at Parnell Road on April 20 this year.

Solicitor Cahir O'Higgins, who is representing the accused, said there were issues in terms of disclosure that he was "not happy with".

He said CCTV footage had been disclosed and asked for any other relevant footage to be disclosed by the prosecution.

The court heard there had been CCTV footage from a Maxol garage but this had been taped over. Mr O'Higgins said this footage would have provided alibis for at least three of his clients.

Mr O'Higgins said UTV footage had been provided through gardaí and he wanted to confirm this was the only footage available from the station.

State Solicitor Michael Durkan said a garda's personal camera did not contain any relevant footage.

There was laughter from the public gallery, where most of the defendants and their supporters were sitting.

Mr O'Higgins asked Judge Michael Walsh for as early a hearing date as possible, saying some of his clients were public representatives. One was a TD, she was innocent and she should be able to have her good name vindicated prior to an election, he said.

Judge Walsh said all the accused enjoy a presumption of innocence.

Irish Independent

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