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Water protestors to face trial

Tánaiste Joan Burton surrounded by gardai at Jobstown

AN elected politician is among a group of protesters ordered to appear in court charged with the false imprisonment of a senior Irish government minister.

Anti Austerity Alliance TD Paul Murphy yesterday confirmed he had been served with a summons relating to an anti-water charges protest that saw Tánaiste Joan Burton trapped in a car for more than two hours.

The incident took place at Jobstown in Dublin last November when protestors surrounded Ms Burton's car after she had attended a graduation ceremony.

Twenty seven people are facing varied charges in connection with the incident. A number of youths were also arrested and charged in the wake of the protest.

The adults who were served summonses yesterday have been ordered to appear before the Courts of Criminal Justice in Dublin on November 2 while the juveniles are to appear at the Children's Court on October 29.

Mr Murphy, who represents Dublin South West, said those involved had not expected to face criminal trials.

“We are going to try and convince a jury that the notion of sitting down behind a car and slow marching is false imprisonment is absolutely ludicrous. We think we should be able to do that,” he added.

He said his organisation would be organising a major protest in Dublin on Saturday to allow the public to express their support for the right of people to protest “without facing serious criminal charges” that could result in imprisonment.

A Facebook page has been set up to support those facing trial.

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