Jobstown trial: Court hears evidence of Councillor's arrest

Mick Murphy and six others are accused of falsely imprisoning former Tánaiste Joan Burton

Jobstown trial: Court hears evidence of Councillor's arrest

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The ‘Jobstown Seven’ trial has heard that one of the accused told Gardaí he felt Joan Burton’s right to liberty was well balanced with his right to protest.

Michael Murphy, a South Dublin County Councillor, is accused of falsely imprisoning the former Tánaiste during a water charge protest in 2014.

When Gardaí arrived at Mick Murphy’s home just before 7am on February 9th 2015, the court heard he simply asked: “Is this about the Jobstown thing?”

During his Garda interviews, he was shown footage of him at a water charge protest that coincided with Joan Burton’s attendance at a graduation ceremony.

“The video speaks for itself,” was the answer he gave to questions about whether he restricted the then Tánaiste’s movement by sitting in front of a Garda jeep she was in, and why he banged on the bonnet of the jeep five times.

It was the same answer he gave when he was asked if her rights to free movement and liberty were upheld that day.

He went further this time though, and said “there is also the right to protest” - before adding he felt both their rights were balanced quite well on the day.

He, along with six others including Solidarity TD Paul Murphy, also denies the false imprisonment of the former Tánaiste's adviser.