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Tanaiste audibly emotional as she recalls protest which left her trapped in car for hours

Tanaiste Joan Burton has opened up about yesterday’s anti-water charge protest which saw her trapped in her car for over two hours.

The Labour leader was audibly emotional as she recounted how around 100 protestors surrounded her car and banged on the roof and windows.

 She was initially met by a peaceful protest when she arrived at a function in Jobstown, but it later became heated.

 Speaking on RTE’s Marian Finucane Show this morning she said she hoped such standards would not become the norm.

 She also criticised Anti Austerity Alliance TD Paul Murphy for his role in the protest.

“They were rocking the car and banging on the windows and doors and roof,” she said.

“And Paul Murphy TD was standing at the back with a loudhailer leading the chanting.

“If that’s his idea of a peaceful protest I would not like to see that as a norm being set for Ireland by him as the way people in Ireland protest,” she added.

 Paul Murphy claimed that the protest had been peaceful.

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Joan Burton

Joan Burton

Joan Burton

“Joan Burton is telling lies and there’s video evidence that she is telling lies," he said on RTE Radio 1 this afternoon.

“She’s attempting to demonise what were peaceful protests. The protest and all the protestors were peaceful all the time."

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Clash: A Garda and a protester have a brief encounter at yesterday’s incident near Tallaght. Photo: Gerry Mooney

Clash: A Garda and a protester have a brief encounter at yesterday’s incident near Tallaght. Photo: Gerry Mooney

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“I didn’t set out to do anything. I did not organise this protest. Is was organised by local residents," he argued.

Murphy explained that he was addressed by the police as "they go to the people who are in charge".

"As there was no-one in charge I was the only TD there so they came to me. They put forward the idea that they should lead with a public order unit," he said.

“Then the Public Order Unit came in and she was allowed to leave at a slow pace.

“We didn’t lose control of the demonstration. We took decisions together collectively after the protest ended and the gardai came in quite heavy handed with pepper stray afterwards," he added.

Gardai made two arrests at the protest, one for criminal damage and another for public order offences.

Online Editors