Jobstown: 'Everybody in the country now seems to be an expert on helicopter evidence'

Jobstown: 'Everybody in the country now seems to be an expert on helicopter evidence'

The Garda Representative Association has rejected claims that members attempted to "stitch up" the Jobstown protesters who were acquitted last week of false imprisonment.

Solidarity TD Paul Murphy and five other men were all cleared of falsely imprisoning the former Labour Party leader Joan Burton during an anti-water-charge demonstration in 2014.

Speaking immediately after being cleared, Mr Murphy said files sent by the gardaí to the Director of Public Prosecutions in the case were "rubbish".

GRA spokesperson John O'Keefe spoke to Cormac O'hEadhra this morning on the Today programme on RTÉ Radio 1.

In response to Paul Murphy's claims that gardaí gave a “litany of false, inaccurate statements” in the trial and is now calling for a public inquiry to ask how what he refers to as a “conspiracy” took place, O'Keefe said "we can't comment on that".

"I would say that everybody in the country now seems to be an expert on helicopter evidence," he said.

When asked if the GRA have confidence in their ability to police similar protests in the future, O'Keefe said the Gardaí do their best.

"All I can say is that gardaí do their best to protect the general public subject to supervision they are given, subject to the operational training they are given," he said.

O'Keefe went on to say that gardaí involved on the day of the protest at Jobstown would have benefitted hugely both for the protesters and for the gardaí had they worn body cameras.

"Worn body videos is a vital tool in ensuring that assaults for example are properly recorded, but something which holds everybody accountable and gives the best evidence available, instead of helicopter evidence and maybe in place of oral testimony even," he said.

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