Abuses of Garda Power in Erris of ‘Donegal proportions’

Clashes between protesters and Gardaí at McGrath’s pier in Pollathomais, Co. Mayo in 2007. Photo from Indymedia.

Afri has supported calls for an independent international enquiry into allegations that large quantities of alcohol were supplied by Shell to Gardaí in Belmullet, who are responsible for policing the Corrib Gas Project. The statement issued by the Gardai in response to these allegations was paltry and insulting, said Joe Murray of Afri.

In the context of the familiar images of Gardaí using heavy handed and violent policing tactics against peaceful protesters in Erris, the need for such an independent investigation is all the more urgent. Is it possible that such large amounts of alcohol, freely available in Belmullet Garda Station, has contributed to this violent behaviour, either as an incentive or reward? Afri called on Minister for Justice, Alan Shatter, whose record on this conflict has been appalling to date, to overcome his bias against the protesters, and to initiate an independent enquiry. Otherwise, it will appear that he believes this to be an acceptable model of how the law works in Ireland. Afri has previously called for such an enquiry believing that there are abuses of Garda power in Erris of ‘Donegal proportions’, as revealed in the Morris Tribunal, and that urgent, immediate and independent investigation is required.

To read article in The Guardian which investigates claims of corporate “sweetners” from Shell, including a delivery of €35,000 of alcohol to the Gardaí in Belmullet during the height of clashes between protesters and the Gardaí here.

Articles in The Irish Times in relation to the story: “Garda says no evidence of Corrib alcohol being distributed”: here; “Garda examining claims alcohol was delivered to Mayo station”: here; and “Shell welcomes Garda examination of alcohol claims”: here