Judge warns on jury selection for ‘water’ trial

By Sonya McClean

A judge has advised legal teams in the upcoming water protestor trial to consider jury selection in assessing “what people might be considered unsuitable potential jurors” because of sympathies they may have for either side, reports Sonya McLean.

Anti-Austerity Alliance TD Paul Murphy (33), together with Dublin Councillor Kieran Mahon (38) and Anti Austerity Alliance councillor Michael Murphy (50) will be on trial with four other men on charges arising out of the alleged false imprisonment of then Tánaiste Joan Burton, two years ago.

Dublin Courts 4

Judge Melanie Greally said yesterday (Wednesday) at a pre-trial hearing in Dublin Circuit Criminal Court that the selection of the jury would be a difficult exercise and counsel for both sides should “apply their minds” as to what members of the public would be appropriate to serve on a jury panel for a trial of this kind.

“There would obviously be people who would have sympathies on either side of the issue,” the judge continued before she said that this was something that “will need to be ironed out”.

Tony McGillicuddy BL, prosecuting, noted that all defendants were looking for a second pre-trial hearing and it was agreed that “as much consensus that can be reached in advanced of this date should be reached”.

Judge Greally set another date for January 26 next and said that there should be some agreement as to “what people might be considered unsuitable potential jurors” by that date.

Judge Greally noted that it was expected that the trial of Mr Murphy of Kingswood Heights, Tallaght and his co-accused would go ahead as planned at Dublin Circuit Criminal Court on April 24, next.

Mr Murphy, Mr Mahon of Bolbrook Grove, Tallaght, Michael Murphy (50) of Whitechurch Way, Ballyboden, Dublin, Frank Donaghy (70) of Alpine Rise, Tallaght, Ken Purcell (50) of Kiltalown Green, Michael Banks (45) of Brookview Green, Tallaght, and Scott Masterson (34) of Carrigmore Drive, Tallaght each face charges arising out of a water protest in Jobstown on November 15, 2014.

Ms Burton and her entourage had left a graduation event at An Cosán Education Centre at Jobstown, Tallaght when a demonstration was held which delayed her for about two hours. She and her team had been attempting to travel by car to St Thomas’s Church for the rest of the ceremony when it is alleged violence broke out.

The second trial of six people accused of false imprisonment is due to take place on October 2, 2017 with a pre-trial date hearing for June 8, 2017.

The final trial of five people accused of violent disorder has been set for April 9, 2018 with a pre-trial date set for December 13, 2017.

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