Sunday 22 April 2018

United Left Alliance TD arrested at water protest

United Left Alliance TD Joan Collins
United Left Alliance TD Joan Collins Newsdesk Newsdesk

THE United Left Alliance TD Joan Collins has been arrested at a water meter protest.

It is understood that Ms Collins was among some 15 people detain after Gardai were called to a protest on Parnell Road in Harold’s Cross in South Dublin this morning.

She has since been released following questioning at Terenure Garda station, and a file is to be sent to the Director of Public Prosecutions.

Gardai confirmed to that all but one of those arrested have been released.

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It is understood that contractors were attempting to install a water meter when they were confronted by a group of residents and protesters who did not want the meter installed.

“We were with the community of Harold’s Cross this morning because they don’t want water meters installed,” Ms Collins said.

“But then gardai arrived from Terenure, Crumlin and Sundrive Road and threatened to arrest us under the Public Order Act if we didn’t move."

“We refused to move and then they arrested us," she added.

After her release Ms Collins headed straight back to the protest at Parnell Road.

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Around 25 protesters were monitored by 15 Gardai at the protest, the latest to disrupt water meter installation.

Her party colleague, Councillor Pat Dunne, was also arrested.

Defending her actions, the United Left TD said she had been elected on her record as a political activist, adding that she “behaved as an elected representative should”.

“I am supporting the constituents in my community. If they say they do not want water meters than I will respect their wish to not have one put in."

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Ms Collins told "I was elected by the people of this area and now I have been arrested for standing in solidarity with them. We just don't understand it. We stood our ground. I'm back now in the area and the water crew are in their trucks."

Speaking earlier on Newstalk radio, she said it was “acceptable for some laws to be broken”.

“I don’t go around breaking laws everyday of the week but if bad laws are brought in, then they should be broken. This country has a history of doing just that."

“I break laws that are amoral and never should have been brought in."

Garda Commissioner Noirin O'Sullivan today refused to comment on Ms Collins's arrest.

"That specific incident is an ongoing investigation and you'll appreciate it would be inappropriate for us to comment on it at this particular time," she said.

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