Labour TD Brendan Howlin’s niece Elizabeth Howlin works for Department of Public Prosecutions and is the Head of Directing Division which took the decision to prosecute AAA TD Paul Murphy & 22 others for the false imprisonment of Labour TD Joan Burton at Jobstown, Tallaght West Dublin on March 3rd 2015.

Paul Murphy said: “It is absolutely farcical to suggest false imprisonment took place. It stretches the definition of false imprisonment beyond all recognition. This is clearly an attack on the right to protest. I do not believe anyone should face charges for delaying the Tanaiste in her car for a few hours. Irish Water has been a disaster for the Government. Now what we are seeing is an attempt to criminalise protest. People should not be intimidated, the next major demonstration is scheduled for August 29 and I urge people to get out there.”

23 Protesters could face jail time for delaying the Tanaiste for a couple of hours is highly disproportionate. The decision will only serve to bolster the anti Irish Water movement right across the country. If the Government think this is going to intimidate citizens they should think again!