Sunday 18 February 2018

Paul Murphy: 'You get a fright when you open the door and there’s the gardai'

Lise Hand

Lise Hand

Socialist Party TD Paul Murphy, who has been released without charge from Terenure Garda station after over eight hours in custody, said that his arrest was “an exercise in pure political policing designed to damage the anti-water charges movement” and was “an incredible waste of Garda resources”.

The Dublin South West deputy who was arrested on a charge of false imprisonment of Tanaiste Joan Burton during a protest in Jobstown last November, said he had been questioned for over four hours over two.

Speaking outside Terenure Garda Station, he said, “We’re not guilty in any sense, it’s complete nonsense, the idea we’re guilty of false imprisonment of anybody. It’s disgusting”.

He said that there had been “no attempt” by the Gardai to contact him for questioning or a statement before his arrest this morning, although he added that the police had been “polite” and “helpful” during his time in custody.

Mr Murphy was arrested at his home just before 7am by six Gardai. “They wanted to create an incident,” he said. “It was a shocking thing to happen to anybody”.

He was one of four men who were questioned  today in connection with an incident last November 15 in which a car carrying Tánaiste Joan Burton was blocked by protesters in west Dublin for over two hours as she attempted to leave a graduation ceremony in a college in Jobstown.

Paul Murphy leaving Terenure garda station earlier
Paul Murphy leaving Terenure garda station earlier

The three other men, Anti- Austerity Alliance councillors Kieran Mahon and Mick Murphy and Scott Masterson, a spokesman for Tallaght Eirigi Republican who also arrested and questioned this morning over the same incident were also released without charge at lunchtime. Files on all four men are being prepared for the DPP.

The Socialist Party TD said that his arrest had been “a major mistake and I think the Government will regret this,” describing it as “a clearly trumped-up charge”.

Joe Higgins said that the three-month investigation into the protest in Jobstown was “unprecedented in the history of policing”.

Tonight, Mr Murphy told RTE's Claire Byrne Live that "there is no question that this is political".

"I didn’t falsely imprison the Tanaiste," he said, adding: "The file is now with the DPP."

Mr Murphy criticised what he called "an attempt to criminalise protesters".

“26 garda this morning picking up four people – none of whom were criminals.”

“You get a fright when you open the door and there’s the gardai,” he said.

Online Editors

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