Belfast Telegraph

Second abusive garda recording revealed

By Brian McDonald

Details of a second separate sexually abusive tape recording have emerged, causing further embarrassment to gardai dealing with protests over the controversial Corrib Gas project in north Mayo.

It follows the hugely damaging tape of the accidentally recorded conversation in a patrol car in which gardai allegedly joke and laugh about deporting and raping a young woman who had been arrested at a Corrib Gas protest last week.

The reported comments have been widely condemned and two investigations into the incident are under way. The Garda Commissioner is expected to receive an internal garda report on the matter later today, which the Garda Ombudsman Commission (GSOC) is carrying out a separate investigation "in the public interest".

Yesterday the Irish Independent revealed that a complaint had been made to GSOC when it was established in May 2007 over comments allegedly made by a garda to local anti-Shell campaigner John Monaghan in late 2006. The complaint could not be investigated at the time because it was deemed to be outside the time permitted for bringing such a complaint.

But a recording of the exchange on October 13, 2006, during an early morning protest in Bellanaboy was played for the Irish Independent late last night.

Mr Monaghan, a father of two and spokesman for the Pobal Chill Chomain community group which opposes the route of the Corrib Gas pipeline on health and safety grounds, had earlier said that the incident happened between 8am and 9am as the protesters marched behind gardai on the public road.

On the tape, Mr Monaghan can be heard talking to another protester and referring to a garda wearing a high-visibility jacket immediately in front of him.

Mr Monaghan: "Do you see the XL on the thing -- that's his mouth."

The response from the man alleged to be the garda: "It's my c**k and your f***ing wife will know all about it. I hope you're recording all that now, John."

Mr Monaghan then said: "Any more comments about my wife?" Response: "I don't know the woman."

Following the protest, Mr Monaghan said he made a personal note of the details of the remarks.

"In May 2007 when the Garda Ombudsman Commission was set up I went to them. I outlined that I'd held the complaint for their attention because of the ongoing situation. But they said it was out of time."

Meanwhile, the initial report on the Corrib "rape tape" affair is expected to be on the desk of Garda Commissioner Martin Callinan today.

The commissioner will study the findings before deciding if either a criminal or disciplinary investigation should be set up. The report has been compiled by Superintendent Gearoid Begley, of Tuam, Co Galway.

The two women at the centre of the 'rape-tape' row are to make a formal complaint to the commission in Dublin today. Both women live in south Co Dublin.

Belfast Telegraph


From Belfast Telegraph