Sinn Féin call for full investigation into Garda behaviour in Mayo
April 5, 2011
Sinn Féin Justice Spokesperson Jonathan O’Brien and Energy and Natural Resources Spokesperson Martin Ferris have called on the Garda Ombudsman to begin an immediate investigation into a recorded conversation between Gardai involved in policing protests against the gas pipeline and refinery in north Mayo.
They were responding to a recording made on a camera confiscated by the Gardai from a protestor in which the Gardai are heard to joke about raping one of the women from whom the camera had been taken. They also speak about the manner in which they police the protests, making it clear their hostility to those involved.
Deputy O’Brien said: “It is extremely disturbing that members of the Gardai in whom women are expected to place their trust would speak in such a manner about raping persons who they are taking into custody. This is only the latest in a series of incidents in which the Gardai and members of private security companies have been shown to behave in an overly aggressive and hostile manner towards people engaged in legitimate protests. It is vital therefore that the Garda Ombudsman conduct an immediate investigation.”
Deputy Ferris said: “Apart from the appalling nature of this incident, there are huge questions surrounding the policing of the Corrib project. Not alone are there legitimate local concerns but it is also obscene that well over €20 million has been spent on Garda policing of the protests in recent years. We are at a time of unprecedented economic and financial crisis and yet this Government is presiding over the surrender of a natural resource potentially worth many billions of Euro. However, the current licensing and revenue terms mean that very little of that value will accrue to the Irish exchequer or people.”