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Garda who struck protester with baton during housing demonstration disciplined two years later

The protest took place at a hotel in Gorey in 2015.

Image: An Spréach

Updated Jun 9th 2019, 1:00 AM

A GARDA WHO struck a protester with his baton during a demonstration at a Co Wexford hotel was officially disciplined over the incident more than two years later.

In November 2015, a video emerged online of a protest at the Ashdown Park Hotel in Gorey against the sale of a 32-property housing estate. A group of activists occupied the room in which the action was due to take place.

Gardaí were called to the incident and a man in his 30s was arrested in relation to an alleged assault.

A video uploaded by An Spréach: Housing Action Collective showed scuffles between protesters and officers as gardaí attempted to remove the man from the crowd. Close to the end of the footage, one garda can be seen striking a man with his baton.

After this footage emerged, the Garda Ombudsman (Gsoc) decided to open an investigation into the events seen in the video. It said at the time that it was of the opinion that “the public interest is best served by an independent investigation of this matter”.

Gsoc told TheJournal.ie that it carried out a disciplinary investigation under section 95 of the Garda Síochána Act, 2005 into the matter.

This investigation was completed and a report was set to the Garda Commissioner in August 2017. It is understood that as part of An Garda Síochána’s own internal disciplinary process, the officer was disciplined in the early part of 2018.

An Garda Síochána said it does not comment on individual internal disciplinary matters or their outcomes. A garda spokesperson also confirmed no charge has been brought against the man who was arrested at the protest in 2015.

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