Garda denies he made agreement with water charge protesters
A garda inspector has denied making an “agreement” with Solidarity TD Paul Murphy during the water charges protest in which former Tanaiste Joan Burton was allegedly falsely imprisoned.
Garda Inspector Derek Maguire continued giving evidence today in the Dublin Circuit Criminal Court trial of Mr Murphy and six others.
Mr Murphy (34) along with South Dublin Councillors Michael Murphy (53) and Kieran Mahon (39) and four other men have pleaded not guilty to falsely imprisoning Ms Burton and her advisor Karen O'Connell by restricting their personal liberty without their consent at Fortunestown Road, Jobstown, Tallaght on November 15, 2014.
The two women were attending a graduation ceremony at An Cosán adult education centre in Jobstown when anti-water charges protestors began demonstrating around them.
Defence barrister Sean Guerin SC, representing Paul Murphy, put it to Insp Maguire that he and two other senior officers had a conversation with Mr Murphy at one point during the protest while protesters were surrounding the car containing Ms Burton and Ms O'Connell.
Mr Guerin put it to Insp Maguire that Mr Murphy told the officers that if they pulled the Public Order Unit back, then protesters would resume a slow march.
“I suggest to you there was an agreement,” Mr Guerin said.
Insp Maguire said it was a garda decision to pull back the Public Order Unit. “The tactic of using the Public Order Unit hadn't worked,” he said.
Insp Maguire said he “conceded” that after the public order unit was pulled back, the slow march got going again.
Mr Guerin put it to Insp Maguire that he agreed under oath during a previous court hearing that there was an agreement with Mr Murphy that the public order unit would withdraw and the slow march would continue.
“I don't recall saying there was an agreement,” Insp Maguire said.
He said the public order unit was “pulled to the side because it was a tactic that hadn't worked and a slow march continued. I hadn't agreed to this. There was no agreement between the two of us.”
Insp Maguire said he couldn't remember what he or the other officers said to Mr Murphy during the discussion.
“That's a remarkable failure of recollection,” Mr Guerin said, adding it was the first time the situation was “leaning towards a resolution”.
Insp Maguire said Mr Guerin was “painting a false picture”.
“I don't think any conversation with protesters brought a resolution to the situation,” the witness said. The trial continues before Judge Melanie Greally and a jury.
Paul Murphy of Kingswood Heights, Tallaght; Kieran Mahon of Holbrook Grove, Tallaght; Michael Murphy of Whitechurch Way, Ballyboden, Dublin; Frank Donaghy (71) of Alpine Rise, Tallaght; Ken Purcell (50) of Kiltalown Green, Tallaght; Michael Banks (46) of Brookview Green, Tallaght and Scott Masterson (34) of Carrigmore Drive, Tallaght have denied the charges.