Former Táiniste and Labour Party leader Joan Burton is to give evidence today in the trial of seven men accused of falsely imprisoning her at a water charge protest in Jobstown in 2014.
Solidarity TD Paul Murphy, two Dublin councillors, and four others are also accused of falsely imprisoning her then adviser Karen O'Connell. All seven men deny the charges.
Opening the case yesterday, the Prosecution barrister, Sean Gillane, told the jurors they mustn’t have any prejudice in this trial towards the accused men and think there is no smoke without fire. They were also told not to be sympathetic to the accused but they should treat the case with dispassion, coolness and level headedness.
The court heard the case centres on events on the 15th of November 2014 when the then Tanaiste Joan Burton and her adviser travelled separately to a graduation ceremony in an Cosain in Jobstown. At the time there was an ongoing debate about water charges and Mr Gillane said you would 'want to be living on the moon' not to be aware of the debate.
As they left to head to a nearby Church, it would be alleged strong language was directed in Joan Burton’s direction and water balloons and eggs were hurled. When she went into the church it would be alleged the number of people outside grew and a mood of hostility developed.
The women were placed in an unmarked garda car which was immediately surrounded and banged on and items were thrown at it. It would be alleged a number of people sat in front of the car and the women were trapped in it for an hour. It would be alleged the women were then transferred to a garda jeep were they were trapped for another two hours.
The jury was told it’s the Prosecution’s case that the seven accused men were plainly involved in the restriction of the women's liberty on that day in circumstances not justified by law.
The first witness will be Joan Burton and she will begin her evidence later today.