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Gardaí ban Paul Murphy from collecting because it might encourage lawbreaking

The anti-water charges TD isn’t being allowed conduct collections in Tallaght.

ANTI-AUSTERITY ALLIANCE TD Paul Murphy has been banned from holding a street and door-to-door collection for his party in south-west Dublin.

A letter to Murphy from a senior Garda officer says he won’t be allowed carry out the collection, and cites a section of the Street and House to House Collections Act 1962 as the reason.

The Section in question states:

A Chief Superintendent shall not grant a collection permit for any collection in respect of which he [sic] is of opinion that — (c) the proceeds of the collection or any portion thereof would be used in such a manner as to encourage, either directly or indirectly, the commission of an unlawful act.

The TD has described it as an “incredible decision”.

paul1 Paul Murphy / Facebook Paul Murphy / Facebook / Facebook

“For a whole number of years the Socialist Party have held national collections and been granted permits in Dublin South West without a problem,” Murphy said this evening.

“The Anti-Austerity Alliance and the Socialist Party do not accept money from big business. Instead we rely on donations and support from people in working class communities who we represent and fight alongside against austerity.

“We have been granted permits in other areas of the country, as presumably have other political parties. We have to presume that this is a political decision to not grant the Anti-Austerity Alliance a permit in Tallaght.”

The Act governing the granting of permits states that in cases where one is refused “the applicant for the permit may appeal to the District Court against the refusal”.

Chief Superintendent Orla McPartlin of the Dublin South Division was the officer responsible for the decision in this case.

A spokesperson for the Garda Press Office said this evening that they did not comment on the granting of individual permits.

File Photo ANTI AUSTERITY ALLIANCE TD Paul Murphy has said he wasnt aware he was due to be charged in connection with the Jobstown anti water charges protest before it was leaked to the media last night. RTE News reported last night that 20 people, inclu Paul Murphy

“The question has to be answered  by the Gardai – what unlawful acts are being encouraged?” Murphy said this evening.

“One can only presume that it is a reference to the prominent call by the Anti-Austerity Alliance for mass non-payment of the water charges or else to the participation of AAA activists in anti-water charges protests.”

He said he had spoken by phone with McPartlin, had written a letter asking what unlawful acts she was referring to, and that the party was taking legal advice about a court appeal.

Murphy was one of more than 20 activists arrested and questioned by gardaí in relation to the alleged false imprisonment of Tánaiste Joan Burton during a protest in the south-west Dublin suburb of Jobstown last November.

On Friday, the Irish Daily Mail broke the story that gardaí had been spying on anti-water charge protesters, including Murphy, as part of an operation code-named ‘Mizen’.

Along with his Dáil colleagues Joe Higgins and Ruth Coppinger, the TD has written to Justice Minister Frances Fitzgerald calling for a public statement on the claims.

Read: Paul Murphy: It’s quite shocking gardaí are ‘spying’ on water protesters

Read: ‘The fear of going to prison is horrible’: Jobstown protesters still haven’t been told they’re being charged

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