Saturday 25 November 2017

Teenagers face trial after Tánaiste was trapped in car

Joan Burton
Joan Burton

Tom Tuite

Seven youths aged 14 to 18 are facing trial on charges connected to the Jobstown water protest last November, during which Tánaiste Joan Burton was allegedly trapped in her car for over two hours.

The case raised "complex constitutional issues" in relation to the right to protest, a judge was told yesterday by a lawyer for one of the defendants.

Three of the youths are aged 16, one is 15, one is 17, one is 18 and the youngest is aged 14 but was 13 at the time.

The young males, who could all face custodial sentences, had their cases adjourned until later dates, and a guilty plea was entered by just one of them to criminal damage and violent disorder charges.

The Dublin Children's Court heard he was already serving a sentence for earlier offences and had behavioural and drug problems. He was deemed to be at a high risk of re-offending as a result of his issues.

The young males all come from the Tallaght area and had been served with summons in July compelling them to appear in the juvenile court yesterday.

Their prosecution is being overseen by Garda Superintendent Peter Duff, of Tallaght station. About a hundred supporters came to the courthouse yesterday carrying placards.

The Labour leader had left a graduation just after midday on November 15 last year, at An Cosan in Jobstown, in Tallaght, when a demonstration was held which delayed her.

Six of the youths are charged with violent disorder by using or threatening to use unlawful violence causing others to fear for their safety.

Irish Independent

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