Upon his release from Mountjoy Prison Independent TD Tony Gregory attends a press conference.
Tony Gregory is joined by two street traders Mary Holmes and Dolly Mangan who were also imprisoned. Gregory explains the background to his incarceration. He also thanks all who had supported him throughout his 14 days in Mountjoy.
The issue that was at stake was the right of people from a very disadvantaged community to protest in a peaceful manner about a matter that was of immense concern to them - namely, the right to a livelihood.
Tony Gregory also criticises the Minister for Justice Michael Noonan for not permitting him to be released from prison for a day to attend the teachers and pay debate in the Dáil.
Throughout July 1985 street traders and Gardaí had clashed over the right to casual trading in Dublin city centre. The dispute was around casual trading in non-designated areas. Tony Gregory advocated on behalf of the street traders.
After a sit-down protest with Sinn Féin Councillor Christy Burke, and future Labour Party TD Joe Costello on Dublin’s O’Connell Street in defence of a street trader; Gregory, Burke and four others were arrested and charged with obstruction and threatening behaviour. Tony Gregory spent two weeks in Mountjoy Prison after refusing to pay a fine and to sign a bond to keep the peace.
An RTÉ News report by Caroline Erskine broadcast on 7 February 1986.