Jobstown six found not guilty of false imprisonment

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The six men on trial for the false imprisonment of former Tánaiste Joan Burton and her adviser have been found not guilty by a jury at the Circuit Criminal Court.

After an eight-week trial the jury returned unanimous verdicts after deliberating for less than three hours.

The charges arose from a protest in Jobstown on 15 November 2014 with the prosecution saying Ms Burton and Ms O’Connell were detained in Garda cars for up to three hours against their will.

Solidarity TD Paul Murphy, along with two county councillors and three other men, had all pleaded not guilty to the charges.

Defence counsel had argued that the men had taken part in a peaceful political protest and could not be held responsible for the violence of others that day.

They also said Paul Murphy had been targeted for who he was rather than what he had done and it was bizarre that he and councillor Michael Murphy, who had been proposing a solution to the problem, on the day ended up on trial.

At the start of the trial in April all six pleaded not guilty to falsely imprisoning Ms Burton and Ms O’Connell in Jobstown in Dublin on 15 November 2014.

Solidarity TD Paul Murphy, who is 34 and from Kingswood Heights in Tallaght, Councillor Michael Murphy, who is 53 and from Whitechurch Way in Ballyboden in Dublin, Councillor Kieran Mahon, who is 39 and from Bolbrook Grove in Tallaght, 34-year-old Scott Masterson, from Carrigmore Drive in Tallaght, 71-year-old Frank Donaghy from Alpine Rise in Tallaght, and 46-year-old Michael Banks from Brookview Green in Tallaght.

The charges against 50-year-old Ken Purcell from Kiltalown Green in Tallaght were dropped at an earlier stage in the trial.