Saturday 16 December 2017

Garda blocked fund-raiser due to protest fear

Diana O’Dwyer of the Anti-Austerity Alliance after a District Court hearing
Diana O’Dwyer of the Anti-Austerity Alliance after a District Court hearing

Tom Tuite

A senior garda refused an Anti-Austerity Alliance councillor a permit for house-to-house and street collections because she believed the money would be used for protests, a court heard.

Dublin District Court was told the party wanted to raise funds for the election and rejected the claims made by Divisional Chief Supt Orla McPartlin, of the Garda's Dublin Metropolitan Region.

An appeal is being brought by the Anti-Austerity Alliance member John Donnellan and Cllr Michael Murphy against the decision.

Judge Michael Coghlan adjourned ruling on an issue which could also lead to a High Court challenge.

Dublin TDs Ruth Coppinger and Joe Higgins, and a number of Anti-Austerity Alliance supporters, were present for the proceedings.

In July, Cllr Murphy, applied to Chief Supt McPartlin for a permit to carry out a collection.

Chief Supt McPartlin told Judge Michael Coghlan that she was aware Cllr Murphy had been involved in a public order incident on November 15 last year.

She said there were also many protests against Irish Water installing meters in her division. She refused Cllr Murphy's application to have collections because she believed it would be used to engage in further protests.

David Langwallner BL, for the appellants, said the party wanted to engage in fund-raising because of the forthcoming election.

Judge Coghlan asked for both sides to lodge written submissions within 14 days and he adjourned the case until November 20.

Irish Independent

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