On tape: transcripts of recording
Excerpt from recording by confiscated video camera in a Garda vehicle on March 31st, 2011, after the arrest of two women at Aughoose for public order-related offences relating to the Corrib gas project.
“Crusty camp” is a reference to the Rossport Solidarity Camp where the two women had been staying.
Garda A: “Who is them two lassies, do you know the two of them?
Garda B: “I don’t know the second one, the first one is (name) with blonde hair.”
Unidentified garda: “She was up on the tractor earlier on.”
Garda A: “It’d do no harm to get the second one’s name again?
Garda B: “She’s some Yank. I don’t know who the f**k she is.”
Unidentified garda : “ Is she a Yank?
Garda B: “It sounds like it, it sounds like it, the accent anyway
Unidentified garda: “Sounds like a Yank or Canadian.”
Garda B: “Well whoever, we’ll get Immigration f**king on her.”
Garda A: “She refused to give her name and address and told she would be arrested.”
Garda B : “.......and deported”
Garda A: “And raped.”
Garda B: “I wouldn’t go that far yet….. She was living down at that crusty camp, f**k sake, you never know what you might get.”
Garda A: “Give me your name and address or I’ll rape you.”
Unidentified garda: “Hold it there, give me your name and address there, I’ll rape you.”
Garda A : “Or I’ll definitely rape you.”
Unidentified garda: “Will you be me friend on Facebook?”
(Conversation continues about Facebook in Garda station)
Excerpt from video camera recording in which gardaí discuss safety and techniques for arrest at protests.
Garda A on phone to a colleague: “I know we don’t want to be arresting them but by the same token, we were left with no option. We have an issue there as well with the lads in the protest removal team there, of actual climbing the tractors. So what we’re going to do is we’re going to get safety ropes and ladders and we’re going to leave them in the van in case we have to go up on the cab of the tractor again. So we’re looking after that now at the moment.”
Garda A: ends call.
Garda B: “You see (muffled) at least you’re a sergeant, like.”
Garda A: “ (unclear) like some of auld timers who were here in the area in the first and second campaign. I’ll tell you one thing, the decisions that were made (muffled) policing at that time.”
Garda B: I’ll still go back to what says there . . . If someone gets hurt we’re going to be on our own in the blocks.”
Garda A: “. . . I don’t think we’re going to be on our own. If we have exercised due diligence and we have used common sense and used whatever was available to us to remove them. At the end of the day, we have a certain duty of care to them. We ask them to get down, if they don’t get down, we tell them we are taking them down forcefully. We take them down forcefully.
“We use whatever means at our disposal, which includes ladders and ropes or whatever to get them down safely. If one of them slips, so f**kin. What can we do?”
Garda B: “Ladders and ropes. All I’m saying is, the point is (Garda B then simulates court exchange)
‘Garda, are you a member of the protest removal team?’
’Have you received training with working at heights?’
’Yes, I have.’
. . .’How did you train to bring someone down?’
’In a harness with ropes.’”
“We didn’t have any of them options today there . . . That’s all I’m saying. And (named garda) is dead right; if we’re in the box:
’Have you received training on how to take a protester down from heights?’
“And if we did it with ropes and harnesses . . . then why did you let my client fall? Did you not go get your ropes and harness to take her down. That’s all.”
Garda A: “. . .To get them down safely we’d have to erect a scaffold tower beside them and abseil them down. And and, the, the, taking the common-sense approach, and a common-sense view, it would be impractical to erect a scaffolding tower to get them down off it. And we use whatever safe means at our disposal, as we considered safe (unclear) protest removal team to take them down, ie, ropes and ladders.”
Unidentified garda: “What was the obstruction?”
Garda B: “There was no obstruction . . .”
Garda A: “They were obstructing the road.”
Garda B: “There was no obstruction . . . The tractors (unclear) all other vehicles were able to get past.”
Garda A: “They were obstructing the road. Excuse me. If a car stops there, in the middle of that f***ing road, and it’s stopped there, it’s obstructing the road. It doesn’t have to be blocking it. If it’s parked there it’s obstructing it.”
Unidentified garda: “Well if nothing else they were obstructing the vehicle.”
Garda B: “That’s the only vehicle obstructed.”
Unidentified garda: “. . . free passage.”
Garda A: “The vehicle was obstructing the road. Just because other vehicles could pass didn’t mean the road wasn’t being obstructed.”
Garda A seems to get out of the car . . .
Garda B: “We all said this, it was a safety issue.”
Unidentified Garda: “It was the best option . It was the best option at that time, there’s no doubt about it.”
Garda B: “We all said it because of a safety issue. There was three up, there was a wind blowing. And like did you f***ing feel safe, 100 per cent safe going up there taking down two people.”
Unidentified garda: “No”.
Garda B: “...I don’t know what you thought?”
Unidentified garda : “All I know is that if something happens, who’s going to stand f***ing behind me.”
Garda B: “And do you honestly think that is going to turn around and say “oh look it”. We got trained a certain way.
’Garda did you f***ing, take a protester down the way you were trained’.
’No I didn’t.’
’Well then Guard.’
“And the job will say were you f***ing trained a certain way. The job will f***ing ditch you.”
Brenda, it appears to be a theme in police forces worldwide, I guess these institutionalised boys clubs have not moved with the 21st Century
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