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Criminal charge against Jobstown protester dropped by the DPP

CourtsBy Tom Tuite
Dropped: Calvin Carlyle
Dropped: Calvin Carlyle

THE Director of Public Prosecutions has dropped a criminal damage charge that was brought against a youth facing trial over the Jobstown water protest during which Tanaiste Joan Burton was allegedly trapped in her car.

The youth, 18-year-old, Calvin Carlyle, from Gleann na hEorna, Tallaght, who was a juvenile at the time, but now an adult, had faced charges of violent disorder and criminal damage to a garda car in connection with the incident last year.

However, when his case resumed yesterday at the Dublin Children's Court, Judge John O'Connor heard that the prosecution was withdrawing the criminal damage charge.

The Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP) has also directed that the State will proceed with the violent disorder charge and the youth will face “trial on indictment”, in the circuit court.

The youth's counsel, Stephen McCrea BL, told Judge O'Connor that the defence intend to raise the issue of delay. The state contended there was no delay and Judge O'Connor said that issue could be dealt with by the trial judge.

The youth was remanded on continuing bail to appear again next month to be served with book of evidence and returned for trial.

The Labour leader and her entourage had left a graduation just after midday on November 15 last year at An Cosan education facility at Jobstown, in Tallaght when a demonstration at Fortunestown Road delayed her for about two hours.

She and her team had been attempting to travel by car to St Thomas's Church, a short distance away, for the rest of the ceremony when the protest took place.

Earlier this month, Anti-Austerity Alliance TD Paul Murphy faced Dublin District Court charged with false imprisonment of Joan Burton and her political advisor Karen O'Connell. Seventeen other adults were also charged with a variety of offences: false imprisonment, criminal damage and violent disorder in connection with the alleged incident. The DPP has also directed they should face trial on indictment in the circuit court.

The TD and his co-defendants have been ordered to appear again at the district court next month when it is expected they will be served with books of evidence and returned for trial.

Six other youths aged from 14 to 17 face a variety of charges in the juvenile court including criminal damage and violent disorder. One of them faces two counts of false imprisonment of Tanaiste Joan Bruton and her advisor who were in a ministerial car which was surrounded by protesters.

They are due back in court later this month and in December.