Prosecutors to get file on 37 water protesters

The Garda investigation file on the estimated 37 people arrested in relation to the anti-water charge protest involving Tánaiste Joan Burton last November is due to be sent to the State prosecutor next week.

Prosecutors to get file on 37 water protesters

The file is expected to recommend to the DPP that charges be brought against many of those questioned, including for the false imprisonment of the Labour leader in Tallaght.

In some cases gardaí are expected to recommend adult cautions, for people involved in their first offence or for more minor offences, while any minors will be referred to the juvenile diversion programme.

It comes as the Tánaiste’s car was yesterday delayed from leaving an event in Clondalkin, west Dublin for about 15 minutes by a group of 30 anti-water protestors. The demonstration was said to be noisy but peaceful and gardaí were present.

On November 15, Ms Burton and her special adviser, Karen O’Connell, were trapped in their car for more than two hours by a crowd of anti-water protestors in Jobstown, west Tallaght.

Those arrested in relation to that include Socialist Party TD Paul Murphy and Tallaght councillors Mick Murphy and Kieran Mahon.

Prior to that, Ms Burton was blindsided when she was struck on the side of her face with a water bomb, thrown by someone in the crowd.

It happened as a small number of gardaí struggled to escort them through protestors to a graduation ceremony, which the Tánaiste had been invited to attend.

It is likely, given the publicity and political sensitivities involved, that the DPP herself, Claire Loftus, will have to be consulted regarding decisions on whether or not to prosecute.

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