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Gardaí must be held to account for brutality in Mayo - Ó Snodaigh

14 November, 2006

Sinn Féin Justice spokesperson Aengus Ó Snodaigh TD has called for members of the Gardaí who engaged in brutality against civilians in Mayo last Friday to be held to account. Speaking in the Dáil today Deputy Ó Snodaigh said peaceful protesters at Bellanaboy, Greencastle and Bangor "were battered and assaulted by members of the force."

He said, "The conduct of Gardaí at Bellanaboy, Glencastle and Bangor County Mayo on Friday 10th October was completely unjustified. Peaceful protesters were battered and assaulted by members of the force with the apparent sanction of government and there was a cynical mis-portrayal of the nature of the protest by government spokespersons after the fact in a shallow attempt to justify the unjustifiable.

"Members of the force who engaged in brutality against civilians must be held to account and the Minister should establish an immediate independent investigation at this stage to prevent a repeat by Gardaí of their behaviour at the future protests planned. He should identify and ensure disciplinary proceedings and criminal charges where necessary are brought against abusive members of the force and he must ultimately restore public confidence in the Gardaí.

"This case highlights the need for all members to receive training in human rights compliant methods of protest policing and I am calling for a committee, involving the Garda Inspectorate and Human Rights Commission amongst others, to be tasked with examining models of protest policing from other countries, identifying the most positive aspects of each and developing a model of protest policing for the Gardaí based on the identified international best practice." ENDS

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