Water protest case: Action ill-advised

Hindsight is a wonderful thing, especially in politics — it might save many blushes had we the facility to change the past. Ask Theresa May or Hillary Clinton. Or Joan Burton.

Had those behind the prosecution of six people charged with the false imprisonment of former Labour Party leader and tánaiste Joan Burton at an anti-water charges protest in Dublin three years ago anticipated yesterday’s verdict, that prosecution might never have gone ahead.

It seemed ill-advised and politically motivated from the beginning, though that charge would inevitably be rejected by Ms Burton and her team.

Despite that rejection, her credibility has been damaged, as has that of the gardaí whose evidence in support of the prosecution was rejected by the jury.

As the action seemed politically motivated, it is only fair to suggest that the result — the acquital of all six men — will inevitably be used to fuel the political campaign against water charges.

Be that as it may, that deeply divisive project has yet to explain in a way that makes sense, how we are to pay for the kind of water supply this country so badly needs.

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Man who damaged Garda car at Jobstown protest gets suspended sentenceMan who damaged Garda car at Jobstown protest gets suspended sentence

Protestors call for public inquiry as court formally drops charges against Jobstown accusedProtestors call for public inquiry as court formally drops charges against Jobstown accused

Court due to hear that prosecutions against remaining Jobstown defendants will be droppedCourt due to hear that prosecutions against remaining Jobstown defendants will be dropped

Scenes at Jobstown protest 'will remain with us always', says Joan BurtonScenes at Jobstown protest 'will remain with us always', says Joan Burton


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