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Charges dropped for one of water protest accused

Ken Purcell
Ken Purcell

The charges against one of seven men on trial for falsely imprisoning former Tanaiste Joan Burton and her adviser at an anti-water charges protest have been dropped.

On day 27 of the Dublin Circuit Criminal Court trial yesterday, Judge Melanie Greally told the jury she would be discharging Ken Purcell from the indictment and he was free to go.

Clapping broke out in court as Mr Purcell shook hands with the six remaining defendants before leaving the court room.

The jury was told that prosecution counsel Sean Gillane SC had an application to make as a result of a ruling Judge Greally made earlier yesterday following legal argument in their absence.

Mr Gillane then said that the Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP) had asked him to enter a nolle prosequi in relation to the two charges against Mr Purcell.

“The case proceeds no further against Mr Purcell,” Mr Gillane said.

Mr Purcell (50) of Kiltalown Green had pleaded not guilty to falsely imprisoning Ms Burton and her adviser Karen O’Connell by restricting their personal liberty without their consent at Fortunestown Road, Jobstown, Tallaght on November 15, 2014.

After clapping broke out in court, Judge Greally reminded supporters that the trial was “not a public performance”.

“You can continue whatever celebrations you like outside the court room,” she said.

Mr Gillane said the prosecution case is now concluded.

The jury was told it will not be required again until later this week.

Paul Murphy (34) of Kingswood Heights, Tallaght; Kieran Mahon (39) of Bolbrook Grove, Tallaght; Michael Murphy (53) of Whitechurch Way, Ballyboden, Dublin; Frank Donaghy (71) of Alpine Rise, Tallaght; Michael Banks (46) of Brookview Green, Tallaght and Scott Masterson (34) of Carrigmore Drive, Tallaght have pleaded not guilty to falsely imprisoning Ms Burton and her adviser Karen O’Connell by restricting their personal liberty without their consent at Fortunestown Road, Jobstown, Tallaght on November 15, 2014.