Jobstown trial: Garda says it was like 'moving through a rugby maul'

Jobstown trial: Garda says it was like 'moving through a rugby maul'

Update4.45pm: A Garda Inspector who escorted Joan Burton through a crowd of water charge protestors in 2014 says it was like "moving through a rugby maul".

He was giving evidence at the trial of a teenage boy who is accused of falsely imprisoning the former Tánaiste and her adviser.

On November 15, 2014, Inspector Derek Maguire escorted the former Tánaiste from a graduation ceremony in Jobstown in Dublin to a nearby church.

A few protestors began following them and as the crowd grew outside the church, he said he called for back-up and told her adviser Karen O’Connell it would be best to leave.

They got into an unmarked car but were unable to move after it became surrounded.

He said the accused, a 17-year-old boy, had a megaphone and was recording what was happening on his phone.

He said it took 10 mins to move them 30 yards through what he described as a “rugby maul” to get them into a marked Garda jeep. The court heard they were later moved to separate cars and were driven away.

Earlier:

The judge in the case of a teenage boy accused of falsely imprisoning the former Tánaiste Joan Burton has refused an application to abort the trial.

A legal issue has arisen in relation to some of the evidence, but the trial is continuing this afternoon.

The boy, who is 17, denies falsely imprisoning the former Tánaiste Joan Burton (pictured) and her adviser Karen O’Connell during a water charge protest in Jobstown in Dublin on November 15, 2014.

Ms Burton claims they were trapped in a car for up to three hours.

During her direct evidence yesterday, she described being "anxious" and said there was an "air of extreme hostility".

The trial was due to be shown video footage this morning, but a legal issue has arisen in relation to the admissibility of some of it.

The defence applied to have this trial aborted, but Judge John King refused to do so. He said a speedy trial was essential because of his concerns that the boy will turn 18 in a few months.

He agreed to continue hearing evidence this afternoon and said he will adjourn at an appropriate stage if necessary.


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