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It's been two weeks since reports of Jobstown charges

It’s been exactly two weeks since RTÉ’s report of expected criminal charges.

ONE OF THE MAIN organisers of the Right2Water anti-water charges campaign has questioned the timing of the leak of expected criminal charges in relation to the Jobstown protest last November.

It’s now exactly two weeks since RTÉ reported that charges were imminent in connection with the south-west Dublin protest that saw Tánaiste Joan Burton and her advisor trapped in a car for over two hours.

Anti Austerity Alliance TD Paul Murphy – who was at the protest, and who has been questioned by gardaí – has formally complained about the leak to the DPP, the Garda Commissioner and police watchdog GSOC.

Gardaí confirmed the day after the RTÉ report was broadcast that that an investigation into how the information appeared in the media was under way.

jobs Source: TheJournal.ie

Right2Water – the umbrella anti-charges organisation that includes unions, politicians and community groups – is planning its fifth mass water charges rally this Saturday.

And speaking at the launch of the event at a Dublin hotel yesterday, the Unite trade union’s Brendan Ogle observed it was “interesting these things always seem to hit the news two or three weeks before a Right2Water demonstration”.

“It was before the Right2Water demonstration on 21 March that the arrests in Jobstown happened,” he said.

Ogle faced a series of questions from reporters on the Jobstown issue at yesterday’s press conference, and repeatedly stated that the protest at the Cosán centre was “not a Right2Water demonstration” but had been organised locally.

Right2Water protest Brendan Ogle at yesterday's launch. Source: Niall Carson

Without naming any names, he also said attempts were being made to portray those who turned out at water protests in a negative light.

“I don’t know – anybody want to put their hands up?.. But there is an agenda which is being driven to take a small number of incidents in thousands of protests that have happened all over Ireland and to misrepresent this campaign, this movement, in the public mind as a movement that is something other than what it is.

“What it is is the biggest mass movement in the history of the State, the largest and most peaceful mass demonstration movement in Europe today and possibly beyond, and a movement which has held four and is now going to hold a fifth massive demonstration in Dublin in full cooperation with the forces of law and order.”

He said there appeared to be a “trial by media” of the people involved in the Jobstown protest, adding:

“The criminal charges have not manifested themselves. If they don’t manifest themselves then you’d have to wonder what’s going on. And if they do manifest themselves then it will be a matter for the courts to decide if any wrongdoing was done.”

Meanwhile, Murphy – the most high-profile figure to be arrested as part of the investigation into the potential false imprisonment of Burton and her advisor – has been posting regular messages on Twitter wondering whether charges will in fact be brought.

The Right2Water protest takes place this Saturday at the Spire on O’Connell Street in Dublin. Participants are being asked to meet at Heuston and Connolly stations at 2pm to march into the city centre, where the crowd will be addressed by a number of speakers.

Organisers have said they expect tens of thousands of people to turn out.

Read: Fifth mass rally of the “stunningly successful” Right2Water campaign this weekend >

“Another U-turn?”: People aren’t too happy with the government’s latest mooted Irish Water plan > 

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