False imprisonment trial hears defendant allegedly say in video Burton could have 'sanctuary' in church

False imprisonment trial hears defendant allegedly say in video Burton could have 'sanctuary' in church
Joan Burton.

A garda inspector has told the trial of seven men accused of falsely imprisoning former Tánaiste Joan Burton during a water charges protest in November 2014 that one of the defendants said she could have “sanctuary” in a nearby church.

Solidarity TD Paul Murphy (aged 34) along with South Dublin Councillors Michael Murphy (aged 53) and Kieran Mahon (aged 39) and four other men have pleaded not guilty to falsely imprisoning Ms Burton and her advisor Karen O'Connell by restricting their personal liberty without their consent at Fortunestown Road, Jobstown, Tallaght on November 15, 2014.

The two women were attending a graduation ceremony at An Cosán adult education centre in Jobstown when anti-water charges protestors began demonstrating around them.

Inspector Derek Maguire is continuing to guide the jury through footage taken on the day on camera phones and CCTV.

The jury saw footage of the women leaving a local church where the ceremony took place and getting into an unmarked garda car.

Inspector Maguire identified the defendants, Paul Murphy, Michael Banks (aged 46) and Scott Masterson (aged 34) as being around the car in which Ms Burton and Ms O'Connell sat for up to an hour.

He also identified Michael Murphy as the man on the video footage saying: “She can have sanctuary in the church if she wants it”.

An unidentified male voice can be heard on the video telling a garda: “Smile for Facebook”, “people power”, “yiz brought it on yourselves, fighting the communities, this is our community” and “shame on fuckin' you”.

Another unidentified voice can be heard saying: “We have a right to refuse, we have a right to protest”.

Insp. Maguire noted the footage shows a couple of things being thrown at the car and identifies himself in the act of asking the crowd to move back.

The jury also saw footage taken by a CCTV camera from inside the garda Jeep, to which the two women were later moved.

Insp. Maguire told the court that people then sat down in front of the Jeep. He also identified what he said appeared to be a stick landing on the Jeep.

Paul Murphy of Kingswood Heights, Tallaght; Kieran Mahon of Holbrook Grove, Tallaght; Michael Murphy of Whitechurch Way, Ballyboden, Dublin; Frank Donaghy (aged 71) of Alpine Rise, Tallaght; Ken Purcell (aged 50) of Kiltalown Green, Tallaght; Michael Banks of Brookview Green, Tallaght and Scott Masterson of Carrigmore Drive, Tallaght have denied the charges.

The trial continues before Judge Melanie Greally and a jury.

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