Joan Collins TD and twelve others face trial today for failing to comply with the directions of a Garda or obstruction. They could face as much as 12 months imprisonment.
The political nature of the arrests and the trial date are significant, and simultaneously highlight political policing in Ireland as orchestrated by politicians and senior policy-makers in the Gardaí.
Joan’s arrest came the same week her solo run on IBRC’s heavily discounted sale of Siteserv (the installation contract winner for Irish Water) to Denis O’Brien, finally broke through the press barriers.
Joan Burton was even prompted to feign interest in the IBRC-O’Brien story, briefly.
Notably RTÉ pulled that story from the 9pm news but included a story about actress Joan Collins denying SHE had been arrested in Crumlin.
The timing of the trial in the closing days of the General Election campaign, as well as the timing of Thomas ‘Slab’ Murphy’s sentencing on Election Day, could appear significant.
Remarkably, perhaps ironically, the trial comes on the day that David Byrne’s funeral takes place just across the river on Francis Street. Byrne’s funeral is being heavily policed in stark contrast to the event at which he was murdered.
Despite previous knowledge of the gangland involvement in the boxing event at the Regency Hotel and the presence of crime correspondents to cover it, there was no Gardaí on site for the assassination in Drumcondra.
Although a previous event had seen heavy Garda presence, including an escort from the airport for the Spanish-based MGM Gym club and garnered international coverage.
This event was curiously devoid of any policing. Indeed the hotel management couldn’t get through to emergency services during the attack, when gang members dressed as Gardaí walked into the boxing weigh-in and selected their targets.
Some have noted the absence of Gardaí at an event attracting gangland suspects is in contrast to the dozens of Gardaí, up to and including Public Order Unit and Armed Response Units that have accompanied Irish Water meter installations across the country over the last two years.
The media has also complied with laughable lies published by the Garda Press Office throughout the Irish Water operation including the doozy “3 Gardaí injured Daily at Irish Water protests”.
Oireachtas Retort had a look at this nonsense here.