Anti-water charges protesters in Jobstown, November 2014

Review Recommends Change Despite JOB-stown Well Done

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A review of the Jobstown water charge protest in Dublin says garda intelligence should have been aware of an increased risk of public disorder in the run up to the event.

The report says no overview was taken within the gardaí at the level of disquiet over the installation of water meters.

A review of how the event was handled in 2014 , which saw Joan Burton and her advisor Karen O’Connell trapped in a car, says from a basic policing perspective, it was a qualified success – no one was physically harmed and no complains were made against the gardaí.

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Following subsequent investigations, a group of protesters – including Solidarity TD Paul Murphy – were acquitted of false imprisonment, while a teenager had his conviction overturned.

However the event lacked strategic direction and tactical options do not appear to have been explored.

The review is recommending the publication of a draft policy on public order incident command as a matter of urgency.

It also says that robust structures should be put in place to monitor levels of public order.

The report also questions the success of the subsequent garda investigation as a group of protesters were acquitted and a teenager had his conviction overturned.

The report states: “It is the view of this Review that from the perspective of a basic policing operation the policing response in this instance was a qualified success. This is bourne out by the fact that the then Tánaiste and her assistant were extricated from the protest without physical injury.

“Furthermore, when this event concluded no protester reported any physical injuries or lodged any complaint in respect of the conduct of members of An Garda Síochana who participated in the policing of this event. However, evidence would suggest that the event lacked strategic direction and various tactical options do not appear to have been explored.”