Charges dropped against defendant over Jobstown protest

Charges have been dropped against one of seven men accused of the false imprisonment of former tánaiste Joan Burton and her adviser during a water charges protest in 2014.

The decision followed legal argument by lawyers for 50-year-old Ken Purcell from Kiltalown Green in Tallaght.

Prosecuting Counsel Sean Gillane told Judge Melanie Greally the Director of Public Prosecutions was not proceeding with the prosecution of Mr Purcell.

Judge Greally told the jury there had been a development in the trial following a ruling earlier today.

She discharged him from the indictment and said he was free to go.

There was clapping in court and Mr Purcell shook hands with the remaning defendants before leaving court with his wife.

The remaining six defendants have pleaded not guilty to falsely imprisoning Ms Burton and Karen O’Connell in Jobstown in Dublin on 15 November 2014.

The defendants are Solidarity TD, Paul Murphy, who is 34 and from Kingswood Heights in Tallaght, Councillor Michael Murphy, who is 53 and from Whitechurch Way in Ballyboden in Dublin, Councillor Kieran Mahon, who is 39 and from Bolbrook Grove in Tallaght, 34-year-old Scott Masterson, from Carrigmore Drive in Tallaght, 71-year-old Frank Donaghy from Alpine Rise in Tallaght and 46-year-old Michael Banks from Brookview Green in Tallaght.

The trial is now in its seventh week.

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