Wednesday 17 January 2018

Water protester addresses crowd from inside prison

Paul Healy

A video has emerged online of imprisoned water protester Derek Byrne addressing a crowd of protesters over the phone.

Mr Byrne is one of four protesters sent to prison for interfering with water meter installations, and is also known for calling President Michael D Higgins "a little midget parasite."

The jailed protesters have secured leave from the High Court to bring an application challenging the lawfulness of their detention today.

In the video filmed outside Mountjoy Prison on Saturday, Mr Byrne said: "We have no intentions of backing down. As soon as we get out of prison, we are going back to continue what we started."

Mr Byrne is currently serving part of a 28-day sentence in Wheatfield Prison.

Speaking through a loudspeaker to a crowd of protesters, he claimed to be "having a great time" in prison.

His partner Siobhan Walsh is seen holding the phone and asks the crowd to speak to Mr Byrne saying "he is going to get caught soon", before the call is ended.

Ms Walsh told the Irish Independent she believed they "made history" when Mr Byrne addressed a crowd from prison.

"He rings me every day and this was his one call a day... It wasn't planned. It just worked out perfectly as we were out protesting outside Mountjoy," she said.

However, Mr Byrne could now face an investigation if his call is found to be in breach of prison discipline. A spokesman for the Irish Prison Service said: "If the Governor is of the opinion that a prisoner may have breached prison discipline, then the Governor will hold an investigation and disciplinary action will be taken."


Irish Independent

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