Paul Murphy TD has told reporters this evening that the jailing of four Dublin water protesters was “shocking”.
Mr Murphy made statement after the news today that Mr Justice Paul Gilligan imposed 28-day sentences on three protesters – Bernie Hughes of McKelvey Avenue, Finglas; Michael Batty of Edenmore Avenue, Raheny; and Derek Byrne of Streamville Road, Donaghmede. Justice Gilligan also imposed 56-day sentences on Damien O’Neill of Greenwood Park in Coolock and Paul Moore of Mount Olive Grove in Kilbarrack, who were previously found guilty of contempt. The sentences were met with loud cheers and chants of “no way we won’t pay” from supporters of the demonstrators whilst they were led away from court.
Mr Murphy has condemned the sentencing and has labeled the jailings as an attack on people’s right to protest. Murphy said: “There was an injunction granted by the court to GMC Sierra preventing people protesting peacefully within 20 meters of a water installation,” he said, “so, yes, the legality of it is that it was a contempt of court, but it was an injunction granted to a private company out to make profit that’s imposing water meters in areas that don’t want them.”