Tuesday 20 February 2018

Senior garda 'concerned for safety' of Burton at protest

Garda Insp Derek Maguire: identified five accused men Picture: Collins
Garda Insp Derek Maguire: identified five accused men Picture: Collins

Andrew Phelan

A senior garda witness identified Paul Murphy TD and four of the other accused in footage of protesters surrounding a car, in which former tánaiste Joan Burton was allegedly falsely imprisoned.

Detective Inspector Derek Maguire identified to the jury five of the seven accused men, as the CCTV footage was played at the Jobstown trial.

They were Paul Murphy, Councillor Michael Murphy, Scott Masterson, Frank Donaghy and Michael Banks.

Det Insp Maguire was giving evidence for the prosecution in the trial of seven men, who all deny falsely imprisoning Ms Burton and her adviser Karen O'Connell in two cars during a water charge protest.

Dublin Circuit Criminal Court heard the incident happened at Fortunestown Road, Jobstown, Tallaght, on November 15, 2014, after an adult education graduation ceremony.

One unidentified man was seen with his top off, holding it in his hand and hitting the car with it.

Det Insp Maguire also identified a "grey haired lady in academic robes holding up a phone" as Children's Minister Katherine Zappone, who had attended the ceremony.

Earlier, Det Insp Maguire said he called for backup to the protest because he was "concerned for the safety" of then-tánaiste Ms Burton as she attended the conferring ceremony in the church.

Video showed the procession of graduates emerging from An Cosán, turning left onto the Fortunestown Road and walking toward the church.

Initially, people were heard chanting "out, out, out" and "traitor, traitor, traitor", then applause began as the graduates walked out.

CCTV footage of the outside of the church was played and Det Insp Maguire explained that the conferring ceremony was taking place inside.

At this point, he said, he made contact with Tallaght garda station.

"I was concerned for the safety of the tánaiste and the people there in the ceremony and members of An Garda Síochána," he told the jury.

"So I needed to get extra resources there, I needed to get more garda members to the scene."

He remained in the witness box for the afternoon as more footage was played, mostly without comment, to the jury.

Ms Burton and Ms O'Connor were seen being removed from the unmarked Garda car and brought to another, marked car which was out of shot.

The accused men are Paul Murphy TD (34), councillors Michael Murphy (53) and Kieran Mahon (39), Frank Donaghy (71), of Alpine Rise, Tallaght, Ken Purcell (50), of Kiltalown Green, Michael Banks (46), of Brookview Green, and Scott Masterson (34), of Carrigmore Drive, all in Tallaght.

The trial continues.

Irish Independent

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