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Question

25. Deputy Jonathan O'Brien asked the Minister for Justice and Equality if he will hold a public inquiry into the circumstances of the Jobstown trial; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [33392/17]

Answer

Deputy Charles Flanagan: As was mentioned by the Taoiseach in the House last week, the issues relating to the recent trial of persons, including Deputy Paul Murphy, involved in water charge protests in Jobstown have been considered and processed by the appropriate State authorities, which are established under the Constitution and by statute enacted by the Oireachtas. Following a Garda investigation and consideration by the Director of Public Prosecutions, DPP, the matter in question was brought to trial and a duly constituted jury of the accused's peers gave its verdict. It appears that this is absolutely in keeping with our system of justice and the separation of powers, which is designed to ensure fairness and equality before the law.
I am, of course, aware of various concerns and criticisms that have been made in some quarters about these matters. It is clearly inappropriate for this House to engage in a critique of the decisions or conduct of independent bodies such as the Office of the Director of Public Prosecutions or, indeed, the courts.
Regarding concerns that have been voiced about the role of An Garda Síochána in this case, I note that An Garda Síochána is conducting an internal review of the policing response and subsequent investigation into this matter. Notwithstanding this review, Deputies will be aware that there are well established and independent structures for bringing complaints about the conduct of gardaí through the Garda Síochána Ombudsman Commission, GSOC.
It is my view that this matter has been fully aired and brought to a conclusion before the courts, which are the ultimate arbiters of justice in this State. I therefore see no reason to establish any other form of inquiry into the matter.