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Irish Water Protesters appear before Court

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A total of 32 protesters made an appearance at the Dublin District Court on Monday afternoon. The defendants, who were been charged over three separate incidents relating to water charge and anti austerity protests, were met at the steps of the court house by a group of several hundred demonstrators.

Speaking before Justice Michael Walsh solicitor Cahir O Higgins, who was representing many of the defendants, said he found it unusual that the DPP had grouped so many incidents together. He pointed out that the incidents, which include both the Jobstown and the “parasite midget” affairs, occurred on different dates and carried various charges.

Of particular local interest is the other incident dealt with on the day. A group of protesters who have become known as the Crumlin 13 were arrested on a charge of a failure to comply with Gardai direction at a protest on Parnell Road last April. Among those arrested were United left TD Joan Collins. The episode led to a follow on protest at both Sundrive and Crumlin Gardai stations.

Solicitor O Higgins sought to obtain CCTV footage from a Maxol station near the incident claiming it may be able to provide evidence in the case of Pat Burke, one of the accused. He believed the footage could show the defendant was not in the vicinity long enough for the charge of failure to comply with a direction from An Gardai Síochána.

Justice Michael Power instructed An Gardai to do everything possible to obtain and hand over any footage within four weeks in time for the next court appointment which was set for the 30th of November. Two more demonstrators are due at the District Court this coming Friday.

Outside the Court house the demonstration in support of the accused spilled over onto Parkgate Street when an Irish Water van was spotted and then surrounded by demonstrators. The protest then spread further again after a truck from K tect Asset Services LTD was also hemmed in by the crowd. The demonstrators, at the scene claimed that the company was involved in house evictions.

After the accused appeared at the court steps and spoke to the awaiting press, the K tect truck was allowed to leave and the Irish Water van slow marched from the area.

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