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Protestor’s safety must be gardaí priority

13 March, 2008

Sinn Féin TD Martin Ferris has this afternoon condemned heavy handed tactics today employed by Gardaí and security firms towards peaceful protestors at the Rath Lugh.

Deputy Ferris said:

"Last month campaigners highlighted an increase in violence directly after the filing of a High Court Action against the demolition of the Lismullin National Monument.

"My office has been contacted today by distraught protestors who are genuinely fearful for the health and safety of a protestor who is in a tunnel in the hill. This form of peaceful protest is a common action with the objective of halting any construction work on this historic site.

"If machinery or trucks are operated near or on the tunnel it will collapse thus endangering the activist's life. Currently there are a number of diggers, a large dump truck and tractors in the vicinity of the tunnel. Gardaí and people, who claim to be Health and Safety Officers, yet refuse to produce identification, are being abusive and intimidating. This is no way to manage such a situation and to be blunt the gardaí should know better.

"It is the right of every person in this state to protest and at the same time to have their civil and human rights protected. Threats and heavy handedness towards protestors by gardaí, construction workers or security forms cannot be tolerated." CRÍOCH

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