Anti-Austerity Alliance TD Paul Murphy and two AAA councillors have been sent forward for trial by a jury at the Circuit Criminal Court, accused of the false imprisonment of Tánaiste Joan Burton during a protest against water charges in Jobstown in Tallaght just over a year ago.

They must appear before Dublin Circuit Criminal Court on 22 January.

The Labour leader and her entourage had left a graduation event at An Cosán education centre at Jobstown, in Tallaght, just after midday on 15 November last year when a demonstration was held which delayed her for about two hours.

Mr Murphy, along with councillors Michael Murphy and Ciarán Mahon and 15 other people from Dublin, appeared before Judge Michael Walsh at Dublin District Court this afternoon to be served with books of evidence.

All three AAA members are charged with falsely imprisoning Ms Burton and her political advisor, Karen O'Connell.

12 others are also charged with two counts of false imprisonment.

Three others are charged with violent disorder. 

A number of people are also charged with causing criminal damage to garda cars.

State solicitor Rachel Joyce said the DPP directed that the case should go before a judge and jury in the circuit court which can impose lengthier sentences.   

All 18 accused were handed books of evidence.

The court heard the maximum sentence for false imprisonment is a life sentence.

Judge Walsh refused applications from most of the defendants to grant legal aid for a senior counsel as well as a junior counsel. 

He said that was a decision for the Circuit Court to make.

Outside court, Mr Murphy said the fact that they had now been sent forward for trial, outlined the seriousness of the charges they were facing.