Sinn Féin Justice Spokesperson Jonathan O’Brien TD, commenting on the release of the Garda Síochána Ombudsman Commission’s interim report into Corrib rape remarks recording, said:
“We all heard the recording of gardaí making disturbing comments in relation to rape, at a Corrib protest in Mayo, following the arrest of two women protestors and the failure of gardaí to switch off a confiscated video camera.
“The interim report confirmed that the rape comments were made. That’s the crux of the matter. There is damage done to the public perception of how gardaí would deal with the issue of rape. These comments would certainly not encourage victims of sexual offences to report to the gardaí, and this simply isn’t good enough. Garda authorities need to implement disciplinary procedures and demonstrate that such behaviour isn’t tolerable.
“Deletions were made from the camcorder but the file in question is completely intact. Some of the commentary by Minister Shatter, the media and by a GRA spokesperson in relation to these deletions and an inference of ‘tampering’ have led the conversation into an unhelpful cul-de-sac. Shell to Sea has explained that these file deletions related to interviews given associated with academic work that were made on the basis of non-disclosure.
“Sinn Féin would also call for investigation into the policing practices surrounding these protests in Mayo. These rape comments paint a picture of an ethos of garda animosity towards these protestors.
“There are also concerns about the actions being carried out by IRMS, Shell's private security company. On Friday 22 July protestors claim that IRMS blocked around 300 metres of public road as deliveries were brought into Shell’s Aughoose compound.
“A number of protestors from the Rossport Solidarity Camp claimed that they were assaulted by IRMS on the public road, leading to some receiving medical attention.
“These allegations need to be investigated for it is not tolerable for multinationals and their hired goons to engage in bullyboy tactics against ordinary people engaged in legitimate protest.
“This is without mentioning the profoundly negligent actions of this and previous Dublin governments surrounding the giveaway licensing of our natural resources.” ENDS