One of Jobstown Six claims Dáil was used against them during trial

Solidarity Councillor Kieran Mahon was one of those acquitted

One of Jobstown Six claims Dáil was used against them during trial

Kieran Mahon leaving the Central Criminal Courts of Justice in Dublin | Image: RollingNews.ie

One of the acquitted protesters of the Jobstown trial claims the State broadcaster RTÉ and even the Dáil was used against them during the court case.

The Jobstown Six were acquitted of the false imprisonment of former Tánaiste Joan Burton and her adviser Karen O'Connell on Thursday.

They had been accused of trapping the women inside two garda vehicles during a water charge protest in Jobstown in November 2014.

Following three hours of deliberation, jury members cleared all six accused. The unanimous verdict was met with loud cheers and applause.

Solidarity Councillor Kieran Mahon was one of those acquitted yesterday.

He told Newstalk Breakfast the State broadcaster RTÉ, and the Dáil, was used against them.

"All you have to do is look at the media campaign that's been run over the last two and a half years against the community in Jobstown and against the defendants themselves.

"If you look at it from the very off from the Saturday of the protest, the first reporting of that in mainstream media by the State broadcaster RTÉ was by RTÉ's crime correspondent.

"Even that in itself show's a certain framing of an issue in a certain light".

"People were looking at the story as it was presented to them by the national media".

"A lot of people would have to ask the question: why does a community come out and protest in that way?

"People were angry, people were annoyed - but generally over the course of the protest, people expressed themselves in a very, very disciplined way".

Asked how this was a defeat for the political establishment, as claimed by some of Councillor Mahon's colleagues, he said: "All the information we've received about our charges has been received through the State broadcaster".

"The other aspect of the political establishment... is the Dáil - the use of the Dáil by TDs, and the use of national media by TDs to criticise and frame the Jobstown protest in a certain way".

Asked about the use of social media during the trial, and the hashtag 'JobstownNotGuilty', Councillor Mahon replied: "I think as long as facts are reported correctly, you're free to give opinion."

"We've had a sustained campaign by the media where the media has basically had a free run in what it said about Jobstown, in what it said about Solidarity, what it said about the AAA, Paul Murphy TD and the defendants."