Joan Burton has told the Jobstown Seven trial that she was "terrified" when a "large menacing crowd" of protestors surrounded a Garda car she was in.
The former Tánaiste has been giving evidence in the trial of Solidarity TD Paul Murphy and six others who are accused of falsely imprisoning her.
When her name was called to give evidence, Joan Burton had to make her way through a packed courtroom to take her seat in the witness box.
In the dock just over her right shoulder sat Deputy Paul Murphy and the six others accused of falsely imprisoning her and her adviser Karen O’Connell during a water charge protest in Jobstown in 2014.
She began by saying she was Tánaiste and Minister for Social Protection at the time and was invited to a local education centre to speak with graduates.
She said she was advised to leave early as a crowd of protestors began to gather outside the church where she gave the speech.
The jury heard she and her adviser Karen O’Connell ran to an unmarked Garda car. She claimed the crowd surrounded it and they were unable to move and said she felt "terrified".
She said Ms. O'Connell began to cry and they put their arms around each other in the back of the car.
She said she spotted Deputy Murphy with a megaphone and said he looked pretty happy with himself and was smiling very broadly.
She said the same thing happened when they were transferred to a Garda jeep an hour later and they were eventually instructed to make a run for another Garda vehicle.
She said she felt she was "running for her life" and just "legged it" as fast as she could and she said she doesn’t know how she got the energy because she was very stiff and cold from sitting in the other two cars for three hours.
Deputy Murphy and his six co-accused deny the charges.