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Hundreds of women held a silent vigil at Coolock Garda Station tonight

Around 200 women stood in deathly silence along the Oscar Traynor Road as perplexed gardaí surveyed the scene.
Nov 18th 2014, 11:17 PM 159,724 338

Updated at 11.14pm

A LARGE CROWD of women gathered outside Coolock Garda Station this evening for a vigil, protesting against what they maintain has been unnecessarily heavy-handed policing of water charge protests in recent weeks.

Locals who spoke to TheJournal.ie estimated there were around 200 women taking part.

Video footage placed online would appear to corroborate that figure.

The women — all wearing fluorescent jackets — stood in deathly silence along both sides of the Oscar Traynor Road.

The footage, taken by a supporter, showed cars beeping in approval as they passed by — and curious gardaí, standing outside their station, monitoring the scene.

Source: Quinno Radford/YouTube

Groups protesting the installation of meters by Irish Water contractors in areas surrounding the northside Dublin suburb in recent weeks have complained of harsh treatment at the hands of gardaí.

Rank-and-file officers, however, have rejected the claims — contending that there is a “darker element” at play within the protest movement. The Garda Representative Association said earlier this month that its members had been subjected to threats to their personal safety, and property.

Image: Baldoyle Anti Water Meter Task Force

Images: Quinno Radford via Youtube.

The demonstration this evening follows controversy over footage of a young women (below) who was pushed from the bonnet of the Taoiseach’s car in a protest on Sunday.

Speaking earlier, the woman involved said she was considering making a complaint to GSOC over what happened.

There were claims (which the force won’t comment on) that Gardaí used pepper spray to quell a protest by anti-water charge protesters at the station earlier this month.

This is how a poster to the Baldoyle Anti Water Meter Task Force Facebook page described the vigil tonight:

It was a hugely strong protest against garda violence that has happened recently at water meter installations.

“It is very hard to describe the eerie stillness that saw many of us filling up with emotion. We are peaceful people, we always have been and we always will be – no amount of media spin can make us otherwise. Simple.

“The gardaí were totally perplexed as to how to deal with us. Motorists beeped loudly as they passed though most were simply stunned when passing this unprecedented event.”

Read: Leo Varadkar: There’s a ‘sinister fringe’ of violent Irish Water protesters

Read: Anger outside Coolock Garda Station after water charge protesters are arrested

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Daragh Brophy

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