Socialist Party TD Paul Murphy among 27 facing charges over Jobstown incident

A sitting TD and two South Dublin councillors are due to be charged with the false imprisonment of the Tánaiste and her special advisor last year.

 Paul Murphy faces charges of false imprisonment over Jobstown incident

Paul Murphy faces charges of false imprisonment over Jobstown incident

RTÉ News has learned that Socialist Party TD Paul Murphy and two Anti-Austerity Alliance councillors, Kieran Mahon and Mick Murphy, are to face two charges of falsely imprisoning Labour leader Joan Burton and Karen O'Connell at Fortunestown Road in Jobstown on 15 November 2014.

They are among 27 people to be charged in connection with the incident in Tallaght.

Thirteen are to be charged with false imprisonment, while 14 others will be charged with violent disorder or criminal damage.

They include men, women and juveniles. Some are facing multiple charges.

RTÉ News understands that the process of charging the 27 people by summons has already begun and those summonses to appear in court are expected to be issued by next week and then served.

Gardaí do not expect to have to carry out any arrests.

Prosecution proceedings are under way in connection with the incident.

Ms Burton's car was surrounded by protesters who banged on it and chanted slogans and she and Ms O'Connell were trapped in the car for over two hours.

The Director of Public Prosecutions has directed that those to be charged face trial on indictment before the Circuit Criminal Court although they will first appear in the District Court.

However, unlike the District Court, cases before the Circuit Court can be tried before a jury but the penalties upon conviction are more severe. 

Paul Murphy said he is not surprised to learn he is due to be charged and described it as an attack on the right to protest.

He said the charges he faces worry him and all the others who are facing similar charges. He said they are taking it very seriously and they will fight it legally.

He also said the fact that they are hearing they are going to be charged from RTÉ needs to be investigated, along with grievous media leaks that are already being examined by gardaí.

Two anti-austerity alliance councillors have reacted to the news they are due to be charged.  

Cllr Mahon said most reasonable people would see the charges as an overreaction to the events on the day.

He said he is very angry and if the Government choose to pursue the charges they will fight them in the courts. 

He said courts have ways of turning things and they will look for jury to take a clear view of what has happened and understand the political aspects of the case.

He said the way things have been leaked in the media over recent months is an indication of the level of political involvement. 

Cllr Mick Murphy described the leaking of info through the media, which he said is illegal, as very odd. 

He said he has been involved in many protests and nothing like this ever happened.

He said it is extremely serious that the political establishment has decided to take this "tack" over a protest and said there is an effort to put them off what they are doing, which has zero chance of working.