Protest halts council meeting

by Staff Reporter

THE monthly meeting of South Dublin County Council (SDCC) was forced to a temporary halt this week after protesters occupied the council chamber.
Paul Murphy, Socialist Party MEP for Dublin, was one of five people arrested at the protest, after campaigners against household and water charges entered the meeting on Monday.
The council was in the midst of debating a motion against the property tax when protesters entered.
Gardai were called shortly afterwards, with accusations of violence coming from both sides, as both council staff and protesters were injured.
A 19-year-old protester, Aaron Nolan, was treated in hospital after the protest.
He claimed: “A stocky man who I thought was one of the protesters, grabbed me and pushed me against the wall.
“He then grabbed my head with his hands and smashed my head against the wall.
“I fell on the ground and when I was on the ground, he choked me with his hands. I was dazed and unable to stand as he handcuffed me.”
Protesters were invited to join the public gallery by Mayor Cathal King (SF), but they insisted that they would “allow no work to be done”.
Gardai arrested five people, who were held in Tallaght Garda Station before being released without charge on Monday evening.
Councillor Caitriona Jones (Lab) said that the protest was “intimidating”, and added: “It was intimidating, particularly the way they entered the chamber.
“The irony is that we were just debating a motion that carried a lot of sentiment against the property tax. But the people who were protesting had no interest in democratic debate – they were only interested in obstructing democracy.”
Cllr Jones continued that she supported and encouraged protest, but not in the manner exhibited last week.

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