infomatique via Flickr

Men’s network and Labour Women condemn Garda ‘rape’ remarks

Lobby groups representing both sexes – as well as three Garda unions – speak out against comments heard in recordings.

LOBBY GROUPS REPRESENTING both sexes have this afternoon condemned the remarks caught on video tape in which it appears gardaí make rape ‘jokes’ in relation to two women arrested at Rossport.

The Men’s Development Network said it was “shocked but not surprised” at the audio released, explaining that “men sometimes display a serious lack of awareness and sensitivity about women”.

“There are some deeply entrenched sexist attitudes that are expressed by some men through comments like those heard in this recording,” chief executive Alan O’Neill commented.

“The particular comments made by male gardaí on this occasion are an extreme example of sexism, with suggestions of sexual violence against one of the women coupled with demeaning comments about her.”

The women’s section of the Labour Party, meanwhile, said the comments illustrated a “casual attitude” towards “one of the most serious crimes that can be committed, second only to murder.”

Labour Women chair Katherine Dunne said the attitudes of young men had been sculpted by “easy access to pornography” which had led to rapes often imitating “actions of pornography imagery”. She said:

This is also a matter of child protection as even young children are exposed to the casual attitude to sexual violence. Without consumers, we would not have such a powerful sex industry.

Three of the four associations representing gardaí – the Association of Garda Superintendents, the Association of Garda Chief Superintendents and the Garda Representative Association – have also condemned the comments.

The Association of Garda Sergeants and Inspectors, meanwhile, told RTE’s Paul Reynolds that it would be “inappropriate” to comment on the tape while its content was still the subject of two separate investigations.

Women protesters speak of shock and horror after ‘rape jokes’ claim >