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Jobstown Verdict June 29, 2017

Posted by irishelectionliterature in Uncategorized.
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Having followed the Trial on Social Media it’s hard to see how the jury could have reached any other verdict than Not Guilty.
There will no doubt be plenty more written here about it but a number of things that struck me about the whole thing.
-Hard not to think it was a Political Trial, were it a farmers protest about suckler payments, rather than a Water Charges/Austerity protest featuring Paul Murphy you’d imagine there wouldn’t have been any investigation or Trial.
-The initial Main Stream Media reports were somewhat exaggerated (If I recall there was even photoshopped brick throwing in some news outlets). It was those reports that framed the initial narrative about the protest.
-Clearly the difference between Gardai Statements and The Video evidence leaves some questions about the Gardai. (as indeed does the circumstances of the initial arrests of the defendants , especially compared to some of our banking friends)
-The Legal team for the Defence did an excellent job.
-False Imprisonment was a ridiculous charge to be bringing in this case.

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Comments»

1. Michael Carley - June 29, 2017

Will any police be prosecuted for giving false evidence?

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shea - June 30, 2017

+1

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2. Ferdia McGruber - June 29, 2017

It’s particularly telling that RTE’s report on the not guilty verdict fails to mention the contradiction between the Gardai’s evidence and the video evidence. Not a single word. Continuing propaganda?

https://www.rte.ie/news/2017/0629/886505-jobstown/

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GW - June 29, 2017

Of course.

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irishelectionliterature - June 29, 2017

I noted that I had been following the Trial via Social Media as the defendants and Jobstown Not Guilty / Solidarity and others provided excellent coverage of the case.
If you had been relying on the main stream media you’d have got a different picture.

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3. GW - June 29, 2017

Great news! The right to robust political protest in Ireland survives.

Congratulations to the activists and legal team who achieved this.

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4. GW - June 29, 2017

Now the court case is over we can say it was clearly a political trial designed to make political protest using blockades illegal by judicial precedent.

Not to mention revenge from the Labour party for the electorate having seen through them.

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5. ar scáth a chéile - June 29, 2017

Note quite the 8 months of the Black Panther 21 trial -but quite an ordeal for the defendants Id say. Wonderful news. And well done to the legal teams – looks like they did a great job in getting the judge to amend her charge to the jury- maybe those who were there can fill us in on that.

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WorldbyStorm - June 29, 2017

+1 very good verdict fair dues to jury

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6. Paddy Healy - June 29, 2017

Burton Should Resign From The Dáil and let the people decide her fate in a Bye-Election
Congratulations to all the Defendants and to all their supporters!

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7. Colm B - June 29, 2017

Great news! It was a blatantly political trial – a ridiculous attempt to cast anti-water charges protestors as terrorist kidnappers.

Can you imagine the outrage that would have been heaped on Paul Murphy by the likes of Collins in the IT etc. if he had been found guilty? Will any journalists ask the serious questions about political policing now?

Despite his wobbly left-liberal politics Fintan O’Toole has done some good work in exposing the establishment in recent years – maybe he’ll tackle this one? Lets hope so.

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8. irishelectionliterature - June 29, 2017

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9. Ed - June 29, 2017

Brilliant news. Everyone who played their part in bringing this show-trial to court, from the hysterical media chorus to the cops to the prosecution, should be hanging their heads in shame. It seemed self-evident that the charges would be thrown out (indeed laughed out) of court, but you could never tell how it would work out in the end. I hope someone who’s been following the case closely from the start will write up a good summary; I picked up here and there on all the times when Garda witnesses were caught out lying but it would be great to have it all put together in one package. Another blow to the credibility of the Gardai and not before time. I’ve lost count of the number of times when the likes of Burton or Michael Noonan have used this as a stick to beat Paul Murphy when he’s been challenging them on some completely unrelated issue in the Dáil; looking forward to seeing this verdict thrown back in their faces every time.

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Joe - June 29, 2017

Laughed out of court is a good way to put it. I happened to be among the 150 or so potential jurors in the court on the Monday afternoon when the jury was being picked. We were all sitting watching a telly on which the judge addressed us. When she said what the trial would be I saw and heard people around me turning to each other and half-laughing, half throwing their eyes to heaven – and I read that as ‘not guilty’.
It took the whole afternoon to find 12 good people and true who were available and not ‘compromised’ to make up the jury. I enjoyed it when my name was finally pulled from the hat and I actually went into the courtroom and had a chance to survey it before I made my excuses to the judge. Defendants and a bunch of lawyers at the top of the court, families and supporters filling it and standing tall and proud in the middle of them Mr Joe Higgins.
SP having an event in the Tivoli this Sunday about social revolt – hoping I’m sure to build some momentum from today’s victory.

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WorldbyStorm - June 29, 2017

Yes, that’s a great set of points Joe. From the off the whole thing seemed utterly ridiculous to me – the heavy handed arrests, the charges, everything. Deeply unfair to those who were charged and I can only sympathise with their having to go through this for the last couple of years. But what you describe in regard to the response of people to the charges is what I’ve heard too, complete incomprehension and disbelief. How they thought this would stick is beyond me. There’s a clear sense of over-reach. Massive over-reach.

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10. Ferdia McGruber - June 29, 2017

In the propagandist RTE report, there’s this:

“Prosecuting Counsel Sean Gillane told the jury the central question they had to answer was not a political one….

He said the prosecution was not arguing against the right to protest but it had its limitations.

The Constitution guaranteed “the right to protest and express ourselves but also gave us the right to be free. If the organs of the State such as judges, gardaí, the army or men in white coats were not allowed to detain people because they didn’t agree with their politics then why would we allow Paul Murphy or the other defendants to do it?””

In light of the above, one has to ask, does this mean kettling is unconstitutional?

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kettling

Kettling (also known as containment or corralling)[1] is a police tactic for controlling large crowds during demonstrations or protests. It involves the formation of large cordons of police officers who then move to contain a crowd within a limited area. Protesters are left only one choice of exit controlled by the police – or are completely prevented from leaving, with the effect of denying the protesters access to food, water and toilet facilities for an arbitrary period determined by the police forces.

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GW - June 29, 2017

Good point re kettling.

I may well just be prosecuting council talking through its lower sphincter but I don’t know whether this practice has ever been challenged constitutionally in Ireland.

Anyone?

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Dermot O Connor - June 29, 2017

GREAT point, Ferdia, indeed! Kettling is good enough for the plebs, but it’s a crime if it’s done to a cabinet member!

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6to5against - June 29, 2017

Its a good point, but has kettling as such been used in Ireland?

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EWI - July 2, 2017

Yes, it has been used. I went along with my then-partner to look at the LOVE ULSTER parade, and we found ourselves corralled in on the sidestreets around the city centre.

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11. Alibaba - June 29, 2017

A speedy not guilty and unanimous verdict. This was delivered almost three years after the overwhelmingly negative push to attack the Left by the state in cahoots with Joan Burton. Stupendous congratulations to all concerned.

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12. Joe - June 29, 2017

Jeebus Christ. Mary Wilson on RTÉ radio just now. First question to Cllr Michael Murphy, recently-acquitted by a jury of his peers after an 8-week trial: “Cllr Murphy, don’t you think that what was done to Joan Burton in Jobstown was wrong/unfair/upsetting”.
The councillor was literally flabbergasted and I nearly crashed the car.

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WorldbyStorm - June 29, 2017

Wow. Really what a complete lack of perspective on her part. Murphy has been through over two years of waiting etc and that’s her first question? And by the by what about the jury aspect of this. Isn’t that good enough for her?

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13. roddy - June 29, 2017

The era of the video phone has put the cops in their place.Years ago the Gardai would have been believed as they lied their heads off.

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Joe - June 30, 2017

Probably true. But also true that in this case much of the video evidence that contradicted the Garda statements came from the Garda helicopter that filmed what was happening below.

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14. irishelectionliterature - June 30, 2017
WorldbyStorm - June 30, 2017

+1 All of what they say could be partly true – though personally I think they overstate its influence and reach – but can they point to any particular manner in which it impinged on this trial? If not it’s completely irrelevant and not worth discussion. They just can’t accept that people could see the evidence and come to the conclusion that the charges brought were not correct and that those being charged were not guilty.

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WorldbyStorm - June 30, 2017

It’s funny, when I read the judges summing up I was almost certain they’d be let go. Again the evidence given simply didn’t tally with the charges. And I don’t use twitter etc whatsoever.

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ar scáth a chéile - June 30, 2017

You can always rely on the IT every now and then to come out with a leader to keep your hatred pure. Yes there is an issue about the impact of social media commentary on jury trials – but for the Editorial to confine itself to that just after the verdict and dismiss valid concerns of a political motivation and make no comment on the discrepancies in Garda evidence… well it’s typical of an outraged and increasingly useless liberal organ

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WorldbyStorm - June 30, 2017

Completely agree.

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Aonrud ⚘ - June 30, 2017

It’s just incredible…Coupled with their front page article about Murphy’s tweets, which barely mentions his acquittal, it’s so grossly transparent.

They clearly have no interest in maintaining any pretence that supporters’ attitude to the media isn’t essentially correct – just doubling down on their existing (diminishing) readership then.

(Also, are they pushing for a Theresa May approach to the internet – I can’t understand it so I need to control and circumscribe it? )

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WorldbyStorm - June 30, 2017

The tone of the IT coverage is astounding – as you say no real mention or analysis of his acquittal.

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GW - June 30, 2017

What an absurd argument in the Brownshirt rag.

Jurors were always subject to outside influences, unless they were locked in a hotel somewhere. A juror is an adult who lives partly in the digital world and she is capable of figuring in bias from social media just as she figures in bias from print and broadcast media.

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Pasionario - June 30, 2017

“The scrupulously independent” DPP, says the IT.

Now I don’t go along with the idea this was a politically motivated show trial. For one thing, this has been terrible for Burton and Labour from a political point of view.

But describing the DPP in those terms is laughably naive, and suggests a surprising level of ignorance about how power and the law actually work in this country. The DPP may not be at the Government’s bidding, but political pressure or the absence of it does have an influence on how the office carries out its work and the allocation of resources to individual cases. That’s not even a controversial statement, but common knowledge in political and journalistic circles. Why, pray tell, has the file sent to the DPP about a certain phone licence been entirely forgotten about?

Liked by 1 person

Pasionario - June 30, 2017

Correction: no investigative file has been sent to the DPP in that matter, but the Tribunal Report was, and nothing has happened.

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ar scáth a chéile - June 30, 2017

Agree with you on talk of this as a political show trial – which to my mind is overblown. Show trials don’t result in acquittals. But there are at least reasonable grounds to believe that the political profile of the defendants was a factor in the conduct of the investigation and the unusual charges brought. That the IT doesn’t bother examining this question, clearly of major public interest, in the wake of the trial makes its indignation about social media impacting on juries sound very hollow.

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WorldbyStorm - June 30, 2017

Yes, there has to be a sense of perspective in relation to rhetoric about it in regard to ‘show trials’ etc, though understandable enthusiasm at the result and anger at the original charges no doubt accounts for a lot of that – but it’s the accompanying aspects which are so deeply troubling, the police raids where they were lifted, etc. I think that someone or other somewhere felt that this was a license, whether consciously or not, to ‘put manners’ as it were on protesters and ran with that. That they completely lost the run of themselves in so doing ultimately bringing risible charges and seeing the defendants acquitted suggests that rather than a concerted effort it was something cobbled together in haste. Which makes it no less worthy of investigation.

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Pasionario - July 1, 2017

I agree with you about “putting manners” on protesters. Better make some examples, “pour encourager les autres”, otherwise the country will go to the dogs, won’t it?

The Gardai, the DPP, and FG/FF/Labour would be all of the same mind there. So yes, in that sense, there was a political motivation at work, but it’s more to do with the collective mentality of the establishment than actual collusion.

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WorldbyStorm - July 1, 2017

I’d tend to agree with you Pasionario very much. I think Pat Leahy’s article below which alibaba links to actually gets that right. This wasn’t some grand conspiracy – and if it was the establishment is even more stupid than it often appears – it was more a confluence of attitudes, and as Leahy said it was utter stupidity to bring these charges.

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WorldbyStorm - July 1, 2017

And by the way, Leahy’s article is striking for its hostility to the charges being brought in the first place.

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15. irishelectionliterature - June 30, 2017

That Mick Murphy interview from Drivetime Yesterday

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Michael Carley - June 30, 2017

That’s unbelievable: so Mick, we know you were acquitted, but you did it really, didn’t you?

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irishelectionliterature - June 30, 2017

It’s truly ridiculous.

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Joe - June 30, 2017

That was the interview that had me nearly crash the car. Mick Murphy was initially flabbergasted but recovered well when she kind of asked the question again – “the answer is No, Mary”.
I was thinking about a complaint to the BAI about bias and lack of balance.

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16. Jolly Red Giant - June 30, 2017

There has been a concerted campaign by the establishment – political, judicial, media – the circle the wagons since the verdict was announced.

It should not be underestimated the scale of this setback for the establishment – they worked tirelessly for more than two years to try and derail the growing awareness of the working class and the development of a new class consciousness.

I posted daily updates on politics.ie Jobstown thread for anyone who wants to have a look – but Solidarity is holding a press conference today and will publish the transcripts of the trial – and they are explosive.

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ar scáth a chéile - June 30, 2017

Where is the judicial part of the concerted campaign? Serious question

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Jolly Red Giant - June 30, 2017

barristers have been hauled out onto every mainstream media outlet to dismiss the idea of a public inquiry and that ‘the system worked’ so everything is great in the world.

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ar scáth a chéile - June 30, 2017

Sorry for the pedantry but that’s not judicial – I thought you meant judges wading in which would be extraordinary. Heard Michael McDowell this morning – didn’t hear the others .

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shea - July 1, 2017

i am probably ignorant on law on this one but why a call for an inquiry and not criminal charges against the gardai for lieing?

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irishelectionliterature - June 30, 2017

Interesting to see if that press conference gets much coverage and if the questions about Garda Behaviour in the trial actually becomes an issue worthy of main stream media coverage.

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17. RosencrantzisDead - July 1, 2017

Thanks, JRG. Is there any press release or link where I can find out more about this?

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18. Alibaba - July 1, 2017

So soon, here comes self-righteous indignation about the Jobstown Trial:

‘If Mr Murphy, Mr Barry, or Ruth Coppinger wish to claim victory for what Jobstown was, they have shown they are unfit to hold public office’

http://www.irishexaminer.com/viewpoints/columnists/daniel-mcconnell/to-defend-abuse-is-contrary-to-democracy-453830.html?&session=1QJfiFxTdRgca8OMiDsKvBndHL/rx03+lk0KH9uC2ro=

You may need to register with the Irish Examiner to read this article. It’s easily done and there is no charge for this service.

And obviously a more measured take:

http://www.irishtimes.com/opinion/jobstown-trial-a-huge-propaganda-victory-for-radical-left-1.3139432

Still odd, that column, considering that it doesn’t deal with the substantive issues of conflicting evidence given by gardai, the demand to drop the charges of other Jobstown defendants and so on.

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19. Paddy Healy - July 2, 2017

The Irish elite is so small and incestuous that there is no problem coming to a consensus informally. There are even close blood relations as well as political relations in many cases between individuals in formally “seperate and independent” branches of the state and business. There is of course a common elitist “culture” but that is not all.

Jobstown Outcome on my blog http://wp.me/pKzXa-nC

The seven were charged with false imprisonment.This may not just have been an “idiotic” error. Very experienced people were involved on the prosecution side.Was the more serious charge used because FG-Labour and their associates in various agencies of state knew that there was no evidence of the lesser charge of disorderly behaviour against the POLITICAL people they wanted to discredit?
Were it not for contemporaneous electronic recordings, the defendants would probably have been convicted!!!

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Paddy Healy - July 2, 2017

There is, of course, a strong argument that the entire Irish elite is a continuous standing conspiracy against the Irish People–Agreement with EU to bail out the biggest investors in Irish banks, agreement to the EU Fiscal Treaty which set aside Irish economic sovereignty, Failure to tax the huge incomes and assets of the super-rich, making the poor pay for the crisis-all these lend force to the argument.

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20. Suas an arrs - July 2, 2017

Acquittal be damned. These people have been hounded and psychologically tortured for two years. Who’s going to be prosecuted for that?

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21. Jemmyhope - July 2, 2017

“Acquittal be damned. These people have been hounded and psychologically tortured for two years. Who’s going to be prosecuted for that?”
Totally agree. And for the waste of public money when there are huge housing and health crises raging.
According to legal sources, the marathon trial has cost the State up to €2.5m.

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