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MEP claims garda assault during Shell protest

Socialist Party and United Left Alliance MEP Paul Murphy believes garda actions at yesterday’s protest showed “very conscious” efforts to inflict pain.

Image: via Paul Murphy MEP

DUBLIN MEP Paul Murphy has accused gardaí of assaulting him and other demonstrators during a protest against the ongoing construction of an onshore pipeline and a Shell refinery at Bellinaboy, Co Mayo.

The MEP says he was part of a Socialist Party delegation which travelled to Rossport yesterday evening in support of the continuing protests. The delegation heard that protesters had stopped a construction truck and that one had climbed on top.

Approaching the truck and seeing that gardaí intended to remove the man using a cherry picker, the group sat down on the road in front of the truck to prevent garda access to the vehicle.

More gardaí arrived on the scene and began pulling people up off the road, according to the MEP.

Murphy told TheJournal.ie he was stunned at what he describes as the gardaí’s “very conscious attempt to inflict pain on people”.

“They were shouting at each other, ‘go for their pressure points’,” he said, adding that he left the scene with a sore jaw and ribs, and torn clothing.

The man on the truck was subsequently removed by gardaí and charged for public order offences, according to gardaí.

The Garda Ombudsman’s office said that they do not comment on individual cases. However, Paul Murphy said today that he has not yet made an official complaint to the Ombudsman and plans to do so in the coming days.

Murphy says the protests will continue in Co Mayo and while he is not optimistic that Shell will be convinced by the action to change their plans, he hopes that “a significant-enough movement can be built up to prevent them” from going ahead with the current operation.

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