Dublin city councillors have voted to condemn the jailing of four anti-water charge protesters and call for their release.

They have called for an end to the High Court injunction of a 20-metre exclusion zone around GMS Sierra works.

The motion was proposed by Cllr Bríd Smith of People Before Profit and was supported by Sinn Féin and other left wing groups.

But many Fine Gael, Fianna Fáil and Labour members voted against.

It was carried by 27 votes in favour to 22 against with ten abstentions and four councillors not present.

Last month the High Court committed Dublin men Damien O'Neill, 46, of Greenwood Park, Coolock; and Paul Moore, of Mount Olive Grove in Kilbarrack, to prison for 56 days.

Bernie Hughes of McKelvey Avenue, Finglas; and Derek Byrne, 36, of Streamville Road, Donaghmede; were sent to prison for 28 days.

Around 200 protesters marched from O'Connell Street to Mountjoy Prison after the jail sentences were handed down.

There were heated exchanges tonight when Cllr Dermot Lacey of Labour labelled some water charge protesters as "fascist".

Cllr John Lyons of PBP said there were four people in prison although they had not intimidated, harassed or assaulted anyone while those guilty of white collar crime had not spent a day in jail.

Cllr Daithi Doolin of Sinn Féin said his party members stood shoulder-to-shoulder with the protesters and said that the water charge issue has changed the political geography forever.

However, Fine Gael's Kieran Binchy said that the protesters had deliberately acted in contempt of court and were delighted to go to prison.

He said without the rule of law, we do not have a legal system and we do not have a State.

'Planning must be seen to be above board'

The sale of public lands to developers who get planning permission as a condition of the contract has prompted a policy review by Dublin city councillors.

The issue was raised by Cllr Damien Farrell after council management sought permission to dispose of a plot of land in Cabra to Lidl Supermarkets for €500,000 plus VAT.

The sale is on condition that Lidl gets planning permission to use the land on Annamoe Road as part of a supermarket development.

But Cllr Farrell said there was a conflict of interest in the council's planning and development department selling the land and also deciding on planning permission.

He said "not only must planning be above board, it must be seen to be above board".

He was supported by a number of councillors and the meeting agreed to a policy review of such deals.

Council manager Jim Keogan said under the Planning and Development Act of 1963 the council had a dual role of both being planning regulator and promoting development.

He said it was open to people to object to An Bord Pleanála but he said the planning permission would be in accordance with due process and the city's development plan, which aspired to bring development to areas affected by dereliction.