- Leo VaradkarAn Taoiseach
- Charlie FlanaganMinister
- Labour Party
- Brendan Howlin
Drop ALL charges against Jobstown protesters
After two and a half years living under the threat of life in prison, the Jobstown 7 have been found NOT GUILTY. However, charges still hang over 11 other Jobstown protesters, and a 17 year old has already been sentenced using evidence now completely disproven. How much more time and money must be wasted on this attempt to criminalise peaceful protest? Demand that all the charges are dropped.
- An Taoiseach
- Labour Party
- Brendan Howlin
The finding of all defendants to be not guilty today is a victory democratic rights. These seven people have had this hanging over them for over two years and have spent nine weeks in court. They are now vindicated and walk out of court proven to be protesters rather than the kidnappers Joan Burton and the Gardai said they were.
What was exposed in court was as Sean Guerin SC said 'a conspiracy to pervert the course of justice'. It involved high-ranking Gardai telling lies in an attempt to present a protest as a kidnapping. This was a politically driven investigation vindictively designed to punish those who fought against water charges and wounded the political vanity of Joan Burton. It was an attempt to criminalise the largest movement of people power in decades, by presenting sit-down protests as false imprisonment.
This is not over. Millions of euros were spent by the state in attempting to stand up the false charges of false imprisonment. A 17-year old was found guilty of false imprisonment on the same evidence in a judge-only court. That conviction should be overturned.
Eleven other defendants face further charges including trumped-up charges of violent disorder in the coming months. Millions more will be wasted on pursuing them. All of these charges should now immediately be dropped and the attempts to criminalise protest should be stopped.
Serious questions now need to be asked about the Garda conspiracy which saw Garda after Garda take the stand and tell blatant lies designed to incriminate protesters. Numerous Gardai took the stand to say they heard things that they couldn't possibly have heard, because they weren't said. The same Gardai failed to see things that did happen. It so happened that every false recollection served to bolster the prosecution case. Some of the lies were only shown up because of the existence of video footage that the Gardai didn't uncover. How high did this conspiracy go in Noirin O'Sullivan's Gardai?
Large sections of the media effectively convicted the protesters before our trial. Biased coverage continued in the course of the trial. Will those commentators who said they were guilty of false imprisonment now apologise and correct the record? Will the Labour Party apologise for its former leader attempting to criminalise a working class community and protest?
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