OVERWHELMING public support was expressed on the internet and airwaves for 41-year-old Joe McNamara, who was charged last night over an incident in which a 15-tonne cement mixing truck was parked outside the gates of Dáil Éireann as a protest against the bailing out of Anglo Irish Bank.
The truck was driven towards the Dáil at 7.00am, making only minimum contact with the gates, resulting in superficial paint work damage.
Having parked the truck, Mr McNamara got out and immobilised the vehicle by cutting its brake cables. He then climbed on to the roof and opened out a wood mounted banner attached to the back of the truck which read “Sack All Politicians.”
The rest of the truck was emblazoned with slogans such as “Toxic Bank” and “€1,000,000 for golf balls” a reference to the monies paid by Anglo for staff golf equipment.
Gardaí then surrounded the truck and arrested Mr McNamara bringing them to Pearse Street Garda Station where he was held under suspicion of causing criminal damage.
Mr McNamara is a former building contractor, originally from Mayo but now based in Galway. His is married and has had business difficulties since the collapse of the construction industry.
Last night gardaí issued a statement that Mr McNamara would remain in custody until his court appearance at Court No 1, Criminal Courts of Justice, Parkgate Street, Dublin, today at 10.30am.
A caller to RTÉ’s Liveline show, who witnessed the early morning incident, contradicted claims made by some politicians and the media that Garda had jumped out of the way, saying no one had been in danger during the incident.
There were declarations of support from other Liveline callers with people stating they supported him “110%”.
Similar support was recorded on websites such as politics.ie: “Fair play to him. I hope this gets media attention worldwide. It’s more the pity it didn’t ram the gates down.”
Yesterday was not the first occasion that Mr McNamara took the truck on a protest action.
On the morning of April 1, the truck caused disruption outside Anglo Irish Bank in Galway city centre
The truck was locked with the engine running and abandoned outside the bank’s branch on Forster Street before eventually being towed away and impounded for a period by Gardaí.
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