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Calls for public inquiry into the policing of Corrib gas project

The group said there is no faith in GSOC as it currently exists.

Locals and Shell to Sea protestors show a display for support at the fish port of Ballyglass in Co. Mayo.
Locals and Shell to Sea protestors show a display for support at the fish port of Ballyglass in Co. Mayo.
Image: Mark Stedman/Photocall Ireland

Updated 18.30pm

A NUMBER OF groups have today called for an independent inquiry into the policing of the Corrib gas project.

In a statement today, groups such as Shell to Sea, Rossport Solidarity Camp, Pobal Chill Chomain said it was calling for an investigation into the alleged incidents of violence and intimidation during the course of the policing operation.

They said that in 2007, campaigners submitted complaints against the gardaí to the newly established Garda Síochána Ombudsman Commission (GSOC).

Out of the 111 complaints received by GSOC between May 2007 and November 2009, 78 were deemed admissible and seven sent to the DPP. The DPP rejected prosecution in all seven cases, the group stated.

A list of the issues raised can be seen here.

Complaints

The groups said that in 2012, residents again submitted a mass complaint, this time to Mayo County Council, outlining alleged serious grievances arising out of the project, including claims of experiences of private security and state policing. The complaints did not amount to any action being taken, they said.

They cited a number of other incidents where complaints were made to GSOC for which they said their response was unsatisfactory.

They cited the “rape tape” controversy whereby a recording in which several gardaí joked about threatening to rape and deport one of the two women arrested for public order offences near the controversial Corrib gas project in Mayo was released. The following public outcry prompted a GSOC investigation.

GSOC published a report that cleared the gardaí at the centre of the controversy of serious wrongdoing but recommended that disciplinary proceedings be instituted against one.

“… there is now no faith in GSOC as it currently exists and any inquiry by GSOC into the Shell/Corrib gas police operation would be dysfunctional, particularly as this inquiry should include the failings of GSOC,” they said.

A range of individuals and organisations such as senator, politicians, human rights organisations, garda whistleblowers, academics and activists are supporting the call for a public inquiry in to the policing of the project over the years.  The matter was today raised by Independent TD Clare Daly in the Dáil.

Read: Rape tape controversy: report recommends disciplinary proceedings against one garda>

Read: READ: Transcript of the Corrib rape ‘tape’>

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