Friday 23 March 2018

Seven water charge protesters in court over alleged meter installation incident

Mark O'Regan

Mark O'Regan

A number of people who it is alleged breached orders prohibiting interference with water meter installations have appeared before the High Court.

Over 50 of their supporters were in the public gallery to lend their support.

The court was told the protesters were subject to previous orders - including one which established a 20 metre exclusion zone around installation works.

Another order was designed to prevent interference with vehicles which were entering or leaving sites, where work on the installation of water metres was in progress.

Six of the protesters were in court for the hearing - one is out of the county for reasons relating to health.

Evidence was given from representatives from two security firms.

Jim O'Callaghan, counsel for GMC Sierra, said footage supplied to the court showed some of the protesters within a designated exclusion zone.

It was claimed they were interfering with work at certain locations in the Phibsboro, Stoneybatter, and Arbour Hill areas of Dublin 7 on the 8th and 9th of December last year.

A number of clips were shown to the court were recorded on those two dates.

They showed protesters removing plastic barriers and a person backfilling an excavation which had been carried out.

Clips were shown of a number of people standing around water meter installation sites.

Another clip showed a person standing in front of a vehicle.

First Post Security provided a number of witness statements which alleged some water metre installers were shoved, kicked and punched.

It was also claimed some protesters stood on pipes and engaged in the banging of vehicles.

The application continues.

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