Opinion

Thursday 17 August 2017

The Jobstown protest was nothing to be proud of

Soapbox

Trial: Former Tanaiste Joan Burton at Dublin Circuit Criminal Court where she gave evidence
Trial: Former Tanaiste Joan Burton at Dublin Circuit Criminal Court where she gave evidence

Eilis O'Hanlon

History is written by the victors. That certainly seems to be what's happening now after six men were found not guilty at Dublin Circuit Court of falsely imprisoning then Tanaiste Joan Burton and her advisor Karen O'Connell during a rowdy protest in Jobstown in November 2014.

There were "jubilant scenes" in the court when the unanimous verdict to find Solidarity TD Paul Murphy not guilty was announced, and a standing ovation at the end after the other five men were also acquitted on all charges.

There was never much doubt that it would end this way. Most legal experts thought the charge of false imprisonment was, as Murphy himself put it, "bizarre". The affair wasted the court's time and Garda resources, and was a gift to left wing agitators who were only too eager to take up the mantle of martyrdom.

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