Tuesday 16 January 2018

Joan Burton breaks silence on outcome of Jobstown trial

  • Former Tánaiste breaks silence on controversial trial
  • Says Garda operation was an 'enormous achievement'
  • Burton praises ‘restrained’ Garda response 'which got her out of Jobstown safely'
Former tánaiste Joan Burton. Photo: Collins Courts
Former tánaiste Joan Burton. Photo: Collins Courts
Kevin Doyle

Kevin Doyle

Former Tánaiste Joan Burton has said it was an "enormous achievement" by Gardaí to get everybody away from the Jobstown protest without injury.

In her first comments since the acquittal of Solidarity TD Paul Murphy and five others for false imprisonment, Ms Burton praised the gardaí on-duty during the water charges protest for showing restraint.

"It’s very important in terms of the work that Gardaí do that they got everybody out of that particular event without any injury to anybody," she said.

"I think in terms of restrained, traditional policing it was an enormous achievement of the Gardaí. Particularly in a situation where there were small children mixed in with the people who were involved in the demonstration."

Mr Murphy and his co-accused were cleared after an eight week trial which heard that Ms Burton and her assistant Karen O’Connell were trapped for three hours during the protest in November 2015.

The Dublin South West TD has since called for a public inquiry into evidence given by gardaí during the trial after the judge told the jury to rely on video evidence rather than their testimony.

Taoiseach Leo Varadkar has called on Garda Commissioner Nóirín O’Sullivan to examine Garda evidence given during the trial.

Speaking at Leinster House today Ms Burton said she doesn’t intend to make any public statements on the trial.

"I haven’t, for instance, as I think is routine for people who have been part of the witnesses at a trial, I haven’t heard anything from the Office of the DPP.

"Clearly that office is the office which independently is responsible for prosecutions. We just haven’t heard anything. Until we get greater clarity on that I won’t be saying anything," she said.

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