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Corrib 'rape tape' gardaí will not face criminal charges

Several gardaí were recorded making rape remarks following the arrest of a Corrib protester. It is yet to be decided if any action will be taken.

Protests over the 'rape tape' controversy outside the Dáil in April
Protests over the 'rape tape' controversy outside the Dáil in April
Image: Leon Farrell/Photocall Ireland

THE FIVE GARDAÍ who were at the centre of the Corrib ‘rape tape’ controversy are unlikely to face criminal charges.

The controversy arose when several members of the force were allegedly recorded threatening to rape and deport a woman who had been arrested during protests over the Corrib gas project in Mayo in April.

The woman – Jerrie Ann Sullivan - waived her anonymity during a press conference, and the Gardaí involved were assigned to desk duty pending an investigation.

A spokesperson for the Garda Síochána Ombudsman Commission (GSOC) has told TheJournal.ie that a report on the incident has been sent to the Minister for Justice, who will be obliged to publish it present it to the Oireachtas.

The Public Interest Investigation has not yet concluded, but the GSOC has received an interim progress report and has directed that certain matters warrant continued investigation.

RTÉ reports that of the five, three have been totally cleared, while two may face further action. It’s understood that while an investigation is ongoing, it does now focus on two members of the Gardaí.

The spokesperson also said that, given the public interest nature of the incident, it is likely that details of all five Gardaí will be sent forward to the Garda Commissioner to decide if any further action will be taken.

Caoimhe Kerins, spokesperson for the Shell to Sea group has told TheJournal.ie that she never expected criminal proceedings to be taken against the Gardaí. She said that “while what they did was disgusting and totally unacceptable, it didn’t contravene any criminal legislation in this country”.

She said that it was her understanding that two Gardaí had already been excluded from the investigation, but was not aware that a third had now been cleared.

Kerins said that the group does expect that serious disciplinary action will be taken:

The idea that one of those Gardaí that were making the comments about raping women would be allowed to resume normal work is upsetting. We want more than just a slap on the wrist.

Kerins also said that the woman at the centre of the controversy, Jerrie Ann Sullivan, is now “doing fine” and has returned to her studies.

Read more: Corrib protest woman says she had ‘no choice’ but to reveal her identity>

About the author:

Emer McLysaght

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