Juror in Jobstown trial is discharged

A female member of the jury in the trial of Dublin South West Solidarity TD Paul Murphy and six others has been discharged by Judge Melanie Greally who told the jury everyone was “happy to proceed with 11 jurors”.

The Dublin Circuit Criminal Court trial will now proceed with a jury of seven men and four women.

Murphy (34), together with South Dublin councillors Michael Murphy (53) and Kieran Mahon (39) and four other men, are charged with falsely imprisoning Joan Burton and her adviser Karen O’Connell by restricting their personal liberty without their consent in Fortunestown Road. They have denied the charges.

Yesterday a garda was accused of conflating events on Fortunestown Road as the court was told Garda Laura Loughney made two statements in relation to the events on Fortunestown Road.

In her second statement, made on 17 January 2015, she said she heard Cllr Michael Murphy on a loudhailer asking protesters if Ms Burton should be given sanctuary in the church, or words to that effect.

Under cross-examination by Raymond Comyn SC, Gda Loughney was asked why she did not put that in her first statement made on 17 November 2014.

The garda said she did not know why she did not put that in her first statement but she did remember him saying it.

The senior counsel put it to Gda Loughney that she had given the impression that the questions she alleged she heard Cllr Murphy say were being directed at the other protesters.

Footage was shown to the court in which Cllr Murphy can be heard speaking.

Mr Comyn said it showed Cllr Murphy was giving a suggestion to gardaí as to what should be done, and there was nothing indicating that it was a question to the crowd or seeking approval from the crowd.

In her statement, Gda Loughney said, from her recollection, Cllr Murphy was using a loudhailer.

Footage from Fortunestown Road was shown to the jury, showing a man in a blue hoodie with a loudhailer, and not Cllr Murphy.

Mr Comyn put it to Gda Loughney that she had conflated what had happened on Fortunestown Road, and that the only time Cllr Murphy used a loud-hailer was when he proposed that Ms Burton leave.

The trial continues