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.”