Friday 24th March will see IRPWA member Brian Murphy challenge his public order conviction and his 2 months suspended sentence when he appears at the Circuit Court at the Central Criminal Courts, Parkgate Street, Dublin.
Brian was arrested following his lone protest at a 26 County State ceremony in Grangegorman cemetery, Dublin on May 25th, 2016 to ‘commemorate’ British soldiers killed suppressing the 1916 Easter Rising.
During his peaceful protest, Brian was assaulted by the Canadian Ambassador to the 26 counties, Kevin Vickers. Brian’s protest which included highlighting the continued persecution and plight of imprisoned republicans including the case of the Craigavon Two (www.JFTC2.com), became headline news all over the world, both online and in mainstream media particularly in Canada. The actions of the Canadian Ambassador amplified Brian’s protest beyond anything he had expected and the 26 county state sought draconian retribution as a result of being embarrassed, with their reformist agenda around the centenary commemorations of the 1916 Easter Rising exposed.
The embarrassment caused to the state highlighted their contempt for the republican heroes of 1916 and their continued attempts to criminalise the republican struggle whilst cosying up to British imperialism which continues to occupy the north of Ireland dividing the Irish nation by force.
In challenging his conviction Brian will maintain his right to protest this event to which he had received a formal invitation and that his actions on the day were not ‘criminal’ unlike those of the Canadian Ambassador who has never been brought to task for his unwarranted aggression.
It is the view of both Saoradh and the IRPWA that Brian’s conviction and the harshness of his sentence were politically motivated, the right to peacefully protest has been set aside by the state as witnessed in cases such as Brian’s and in the case of the Jobstown water protest. Saoradh and the IRPWA stand in solidarity with Brian and wish him the best of luck in overturning this contrived conviction.