Belfast Telegraph

Water protests: Gardai launch investigation into potential leaking of information on charges

Gardai have launched an investigation into the potential leaking of information surrounding the criminal charges to be brought against Socialist TD Paul Murphy and other water protesters.

Mr Murphy and more than 20 other protestors are facing court dates over a demonstration which saw Tánaiste Joan Burton pelted with water balloons and trapped in her car for two hours.

Details of the Director of Public Prosecution’s (DPP) intention to bring charges against the protesters emerged yesterday. However, Mr Murphy and the others had not been contacted by the DPP.

It is understood Garda headquarters launched an internal investigation into the potential leak this morning - before Mr Murphy wrote to Garda Commissioner Noirin O’Sullivan complaining about the leak.

Mr Murphy also lodged a complaint with the Garda Siochana Ombudsman Commission (Gsoc) over the leak and sent a letter of complaint to the DPP.

“The first I and other protesters heard about this was on the Nine O’Clock news last night on RTE,” he said in a statement today.

“It is quite an incredible situation whereby the media is advised of charges in advance of those due to be charged. It also is in clear contradiction to the justification that was given for the huge numbers of Gardai that were used to arrest all of the protesters – which is that we could have been potential flight risks. If we were flight risks, surely it would not make sense to leak this information to the media,” he added.

“The consequence of this leak is to spread fear amongst protesters that they will be charged. The source of the leak can only be within the DPP or the Gardai. I have therefore written to the appropriate authorities in both seeking to establish what investigations will be carried out to determine the source of the leak.”

Belfast Telegraph Digital


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