Trial for 16 accused of falsely imprisoning Tánaiste set for April 2017

Anti-Austerity Alliance TD Paul Murphy is among those accused of the incident in Jobstown, Tallaght, Dublin in 2014

Newstalk, Anti-Austerity Alliance TD Paul Murphy, Tánaiste Joan Burton, Jobstown, Tallaght, Dublin, law, crime, justice, trial, court

AAA Paul Murphy, TD

Four weeks in April 2017 have been provisionally set aside for the trials of sixteen people accused of falsely imprisoning the Tánaiste Joan Burton and her adviser.

AAA TD Paul Murphy and two AAA Councillors were among those charged following a water charge protest in Dublin in November 2014.

Ms Burton and her adviser, Karen O'Connell, were on their way to a church in Jobstown in Dublin - when they were allegedly trapped in their car for several hours by a group of protesters.

Eighteen people have been sent forward for trial in connection with the incident. Sixteen of them are accused of falsely imprisoning the women - a charge that carries a maximum penalty of life in prison.

The Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP) wants to split the protesters into four groups and hold separate trials.

Counsel for Anti-Austerity Alliance TD Paul Murphy today indicated his intention to contest the case - but said he first wanted to know the reasons for dividing the cases.

Most of the others shared the same position and the DPP has agreed to provide those reasons in writing.

The court provisionally booked four weeks in April 2017 for the trial, or trials as the case may be, and adjourned arraignments until next month.