Joe Higgins: Paul Murphy arrest a 'disgraceful and criminal waste of garda resources'
Socialist TD Joe Higgins said the arrest of Paul Murphy TD and two anti-austerity alliance councillors is "a disgraceful and criminal waste of Garda time and resources".
Saying the arrests were politically motivated, he accused the Government including the Labour Party of trying to paint Anti-Austerity Alliance activists as criminals.
"I ask the Labour Party about this heavy handed policing at a time when they continually lie to people and break election promises," he told reporters.
He said the arrests were another cheap attempt to denigrate" the water charge protest movement.
He said it was disgraceful and outrageous that six Gardai entered his home this morning shortly after 7am.
Speaking at a press conference in Dublin this morning, Mr Higgins said: "The arrests of Paul Murphy, councillors Kieran Mahon and Mick Murphy and Scott Masterson is a cheap attempt to denigrate and weaken water charges movement as we approach make or break time. Bills are coming out and there is a need for mass non-payment."
Mr Higgins said Gardai established an incident room at Tallaght station and have constantly enquired about Paul Murphy's connection with the events of November 15 in Jobstown.
He said: "Ordinary people in Tallaght will see this as way over the top and a disgraceful and criminal waste of Garda time and resources."
Mr Higgins visited those arrested before he arrived at the press conference.
Socialist TD Ruth Coppinger insisted the protest which saw Tanaiste Joan Burton detained in her car for almost three hours was "strong but peaceful."
"The local police recognised the role the AAA played and even thanked Paul Murphy," she added.