Saturday 17 March 2018

TD Paul Murphy lodges complaint with Garda Ombudsman over 'leaking' of water protest charges

Paul Murphy TD
Paul Murphy TD
Philip Ryan

Philip Ryan

SOCIALIST TD Paul Murphy has lodged a complaint with the Garda Ombudsman over what he claims is the leaking of information about the impending criminal charges to be made against him and more than 20 other water protesters.

Mr Murphy and 22 other demonstrators are facing court dates over the controversial protest in Jobstown, Tallaght last year, which saw Tánaiste Joan Burton pelted with a water balloon and trapped in her car for more than two hours.

It emerged yesterday that the Director of Public Prosecutors (DPP) is planning to bring charges against some of those questioned about the incident earlier this year.

Mr Murphy said today he submitted letters of complaint to the DPP, the Garda Commissioner and Gsoc over the “leaking of the information”.

“The first I and other protesters heard about this was on the Nine O’Clock news last night on RTE,” he said in a statement today.

“It is quite an incredible situation whereby the media is advised of charges in advance of those due to be charged. It also is in clear contradiction to the justification that was given for the huge numbers of Gardai that were used to arrest all of the protesters – which is that we could have been potential flight risks. If we were flight risks, surely it would not make sense to leak this information to the media,” he added.

“The consequence of this leak is to spread fear amongst protesters that they will be charged. The source of the leak can only be within the DPP or the Gardai. I have therefore written to the appropriate authorities in both seeking to establish what investigations will be carried out to determine the source of the leak.”

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