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Anglo Irish Bank Protesters to Contest all Charges as Trial Commences

17/01/11

Anglo Irish Bank protestAs the trial of seven éirígí activists charged with a variety of offences arising from a peaceful protest at Anglo Irish Bank Headquarters in Dublin on May 15 last year is set to commence tomorrow [Tuesday], all seven are to plead not guilty and vigorously contest all the charges laid against them.

The seven – Ursula Ní Shionnain, Daithi Ó Riain, Robbie Fox, Eoin Ó Se, John McCusker, Pádraig Ó Meiscill and Daithí Mac An Mháistír – are scheduled to appear in the Criminal Courts of Justice in Parkgate Street tomorrow morning at 10.30am to face charges of trespass and a variety of public order offences. Speaking in advance of the trial, cathaoirleach éirígí Brian Leeson said the trial was an attempt to intimidate and criminalise those engaged in peaceful protest.

Leeson said: “The fact that the only people to face trial in relation to the collapse of Anglo Irish Bank are these seven activists is a damning indictment of what passes for justice in the Twenty-Six County state. It is further proof, if any was needed, that the institutions of this state act only in the interest of the business and political class.

“The only thing these activists are guilty of was to protest against the greed and corruption of the establishment, the pumping by the state of tens of billions of euros into bailing out the banks and the savage cutbacks being imposed on essential frontline services and working class families throughout the country.”

Leeson added: “Despite the dignified and entirely peaceful nature of the protest in which four of the activists unfurled a banner from the roof of the foyer of Anglo Irish Bank headquarters in Stephens Green, the Gardaí forcibly removed, arrested and assaulted them. The other three activists were subsequently arrested for trying to assist their colleagues who were being assaulted by Gardaí.

“The violent actions of the Gardaí on the day and the laying of these spurious charges against these activists is just another attempt by the state to intimidate and criminalise those engaged in peaceful protest while the bankers and politicians walk away scot free, as do the Gardaí who assaulted these activists.”

Leeson concluded: “All seven will be pleading not guilty and will be vigorously contesting all charges. éirígí is urging people to come along to the Criminal Courts of Justice tomorrow morning to show their support for the activists involved and to defend the right to engage in peaceful protest free from the bully boy tactics and thuggish behaviour of the Gardaí and the Twenty-Six County state in general.”

 

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