A Garda has told a jury that she feared for her safety and the safety of then tánaiste Joan Burton and her adviser as she escorted the women through a crowd at a water charges protest in 2014.

Garda Fionnuala Whelan was giving evidence in Dublin Circuit Criminal Court at the trial of Solidarity TD Paul Murphy and six other men.

All seven deny falsely imprisoning Ms Burton and her aide Karen O'Connell on 15 November 2014, as the former tánaiste was attending a graduation ceremony at An Cosán Centre in Jobstown in Tallaght.

Gda Whelan told Tony McGillicuddy BL, prosecuting, that the atmosphere on the day was "very hostile and extremely volatile".

She said she was there from the time Ms Burton moved from the graduation ceremony in An Cosán adult education centre to a nearby church.

She said she was also present when the unmarked patrol car and subsequently a Garda jeep, which Ms Burton and Ms O'Connell were in, was surrounded by protestors.

Gda Whelan said when the protestors surrounded the unmarked garda car, they were banging on the bonnet and shouting abuse at Ms Burton.

She said she tried to remove a number of people who were behind the car, preventing it from reversing.

She identified the defendants Paul Murphy, Scott Masterson, Frank Donaghy and Kieran Mahon as being among the group who were sitting down.

She tried to move Paul Murphy but she said she was obstructed by others.

"Mr Murphy resisted my attempt to remove him and he was also held down by others by his arms and legs. They pushed me away from him," Gda Whelan said.

Sean Guerin SC, defending Paul Murphy, put it Gda Whelan that after the protesters surrounded the car the situation became stable and that this stability was upset when she went to "manhandle" his client.

Gda Whelan said she had not manhandled the TD and also rejected the description that the situation was stable.

She said it was extremely volatile and that she feared for her safety.

Mr Guerin showed the jury YouTube footage showing Gda Whelan attempting to pull Paul Murphy up off the road.

Unidentified voices on the footage could be heard saying: "That's a TD you are mishandling. This was a peaceful protest until you started dragging people out of it".

Asked by Mr Guerin what she had done about the fact that the TD's shirt was pulled off him during the struggle she said she did not do anything because her priority was her safety and the safety of the two alleged victims.

She said the defendant's safety was not in jeopardy at that time and the stripping of his shirt "was certainly not the worst thing that happened that day".

She told Mr Guerin that it did not stand out for her.

She said that what stood out for her from the day's events was being pushed and pulled and kicked and verbally abused.

The defendants are: Paul Murphy, 34, from Kingswood Heights, Tallaght; Councillor Michael Murphy, 53, from Whitechurch Way, Ballyboden in Dublin; Councillor Kieran Mahon, 39, from Bolbrook Grove, Tallaght; Scott Masterson, 34, from Carrigmore Drive, Tallaght; Frank Donaghy, 71, from Alpine Rise, Tallaght; Michael Banks, 46, Brookview Green, Tallaght; and Ken Purcell, 50, from Kiltalown Green, also in Tallaght.