Jobstown protesters launch public campaign ahead of trials

Former MEP Patricia McKenna joined with trade unionists and defendants in the upcoming Jobstown 'false imprisonment' trials to launch a public campaign in the run up to the April trials.

In October a 17-year-old boy was found guilty of falsely imprisoning Joan Burton and her adviser in November 2014.

He was aged 15 when he blocked them from leaving a graduation ceremony in Jobstown in Dublin - by standing in front of two Garda vehicles.

Anti-Austerity Alliance TD Paul Murphy and six others are set to stand trial on April 24, with further trials to follow in June and April 2018.

In a statement at today's launch at Buswell's hotel, the group said: “The spontaneous protest against the then Tanaiste Joan Burton in Jobstown on 15 November 2014 was seized upon by establishment politicians and the Gardai to try to strike back against the anti-water charges movement.

“Today we are launching a campaign of public information. It will challenge the false narrative that has been put forward about Jobstown and the protest, where many in the political world and in the media have found us guilty before the trial even begins.

“Convictions are being pursued because the establishment resented that a new mass movement had cut across their attempts to impose water charges. It is an attempt to send a chilling message to all those who would wish to protest in future.”

The group plan to hold a public rally on April 1 at Liberty Hall, where Paddy Hill of the Birmingham Six will speak.

"As someone who is an expert in what being falsely imprisoned is I can say this was not false imprisonment,” Mr Hill said. “This was a community exerting its democratic right to oppose an unjust policy. A right that we should all be proud to defend."

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