Wednesday 26 October 2016

Teenage boy jailed for role in violence at Jobstown water protest

Tom Tuite

Published 06/05/2016 | 02:30

The protest delayed Tánaiste Joan Burton for about two hours. Photo: Frank Mc Grath
The protest delayed Tánaiste Joan Burton for about two hours. Photo: Frank Mc Grath

A 16-year-old boy has been given a six-month sentence for taking part in violence at a protest in Jobstown.

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Tánaiste Joan Burton and her entourage were allegedly trapped in a car just after midday on November 15, 2014 at An Cosan education facility in Jobstown, Tallaght, Dublin.

An anti-Irish Water demonstration was held which delayed her for about two hours.

The boy, now aged 16, but who was 15 at the time of the incident, appeared at the Dublin Children's Court with his mother and a grandparent.

He had pleaded guilty to criminal damage to the rear window of an unmarked garda car which he jumped on, and violent disorder charges. The court heard he has prior convictions for theft and has already served a sentence which expired in January for his other offences.

Finalising his case yesterday, Judge John O'Connor imposed a six-month detention sentence on the boy - who cannot be named because he is a minor.

Judge O'Connor had told the teen earlier that the purpose of violence towards women was to humiliate them and erode their dignity.

He said violence directed at women in politics "is to limit their effectiveness in the political process, to alienate them and to state they are not welcome in politics".

"It should also be pointed out that this particular attack on the elected Tánaiste of Ireland is an attack on the Irish State," he had said, adding that it was also an attack on gardaí who were protecting Ms Burton.

Initially the boy, who was not politically motivated when he joined in the violence, expressed regret - and in November he had shown a willingness to engage with the Probation Service.


The judge had then told the boy, who has "significant behavioural" problems, that if he continued to co-operate, he would be sentenced to a period of probation supervision. Failure to do so would result in a custodial sentence, he had been warned.

However, since then the boy repeatedly refused to work with the Probation Service, calling it "a load of b****ks" and saying he wanted to be sentenced.

He also picked up a new charge of unlawfully interfering with a car in Tallaght on February 11. He pleaded guilty to that, as well as a connected breach of the peace and possessing gloves for use in a theft.

Defence solicitor Michelle Finan had said psychological and welfare assessments described him as "most vulnerable".

The solicitor had said the boy "got caught up in the excitement of what was going on and lost the run of himself".

A welfare report stated he had "significant emotional and behavioural difficulties" prompting mental health concerns. Judge O'Connor had said the teen's other issues included negative peers, anti-social incidents, involvement with pro-criminal gangs and drug issues.

Five other juvenile males have been before the Children's Court in connection with the protest.

Irish Independent

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