Jobstown Trial ‘ludicrous’

Dessie Ellis TD speaking at 2015 Ard Fheis

Sinn Féin TD Dessie Ellis has said that it is ridiculous that the Jobstown trial has reached this stage and that people are being prosecuted for engaging in legitimate protest.

Speaking after attending the court today, the Dublin North West TD said:

“I cannot believe that it has come to this where people are being tried for legitimate protest and the state now seeks to brand them as criminals and possibly imprison them.

“To trump up the charge to false imprisonment seems ludicrous and diminishes that very serious charge. Strict controls on who was eligible for jury selection only further demonstrate the level of paranoia with which the state views the anti-water charges movement. To say that having expressed an opinion on water charges on social media would impact on the ability of a juror to impartially determine the guilt or innocence of someone accused of the crime of false imprisonment goes against the essence of a fair trial.

“The seven defendants deserve, first and foremost, a trial before a jury of their peers and they most certainly do not deserve a charge of false imprisonment, one which in this case carries a possible life sentence is too far a step entirely.”

The removal from office of Commissioner O’Sullivan would be in the best interests of An Garda Síochána

screenshot garda comm

Sinn Féin are bringing this private members business  to the house tonight in the best interest of this state and also that the removal from office of Commissioner O’Sullivan would be in the best interests of An Garda Síochána.”

As a society we need a policing service that prosecutes the law without fear or favour, that anyone from Dublin to Cork is entitled to a force that serves them fairly.

Also as a society we need a Garda force thats accountable, representative of the community and held to the highest professional and ethical standards.

There are a number of reports into Garda misconduct over the last number of years and each report erodes the public confidence in the Gardai and the Garda management. The recent Garda errors which led to the wrongful conviction of 14,700 people for motoring offences and to 937,000 breath tests being wrongly recorded on the Pulse system is just another case of mind-blowing corruption or sheer incompetence. 14,700 wrongly convicted and that let me tell you this may only be the tip of the iceberg.  It’s also being our experience that calls made to local Garda Stations are not registered on the PULSE system and hence we are not seeing a true picture of what happens based on actual reporting of crime.

What this motion aims to do, is to start a process that will make the senior Garda management responsible for the actions of the force and the need to hold the police and criminal justice systems to account on the basis of fairness, impartiality and objectivity. We are not going to change how we do policing in Ireland until we change the system. This is the crisis point; any hesitation from the government at this stage in dealing with these major issues will only further erode the public confidence in An Garda Síochána.  It has come to the point that the Garda Commissioner does not enjoy the confidence of the Dáil and more importantly she does not enjoy public confidence and therefore has no choice but show a strong lead in accountability and go.