COURT SUPPORT: Mon May 25: Garda Brutality\Arrest of Pro-Choice Counter-Demonstrator

Shane is arrested by plain-clothes Garda thugs
  • Location: Criminal Courts of ‘Justice’ (CCJ), Parkgate St.\Infirmary Rd
  • Date: Monday 25 May 2015
  • Time: 10:30am

Shane is appearing in court on Monday 25 May at 10:30am in relation to his arrest at a counter-demonstration against Youth Defence’s ‘Rally for Life’ in July 2013.

Whilst attending the demo, he was set upon by plain-clothes Gardaí for no apparent reason, dragged to the ground, handcuffed and arrested. In the Garda van, he was pepper-sprayed numerous times.

He is charged with  ‘offences’ under Sections 6 & 8 of the Public Order Act (Threatening, Abusive and Insulting Behaviour & Failure to comply with directions of An Garda Síochána).

A video recorded of the incident was shared widely on Youtube:

From Shane:

“There was an extremely heavy police presence around the pro-choice side of the demonstration, with about a dozen of easily identifiable “undercover” cops present… I was notified by somebody near me … that the cops were hassling somebody (searching them and forcing them to give their details) seemingly arbitrarily, so I went over to have a look to see what was going on.

As soon as I came within two feet … the cops instantly pushed me away and told me that I was “interfering”. The cop that pushed me had the cheek to say “don’t assault me!”. I replied to him saying “you’re assaulting me” and he said “I will assault you!”. I still wanted to see what was going on, so I came back, but they pushed me away again and told me that I would be arrested if I tried to come back any more times. I asked the cop that pushed me away what provision in the law he was using to deny me my right to be there. He mentioned Section 8 of the Criminal Justice (Public Order) Act, 1994… that provision only applies if I was ….acting contrary to …sections 4, 5, 6, 7 or 9 of the same act, which basically amount to either being drunk, threatening and/or insulting somebody, or blocking traffic, none of which I was or had been doing, so I went back one more time.”

Shane was then pulled to the ground by numerous filthy porkers, handcuffed and dragged into a paddywagon.

“They were trying to put handcuffs on me, but …it sounded like they were having difficulty doing so. I heard one of the cops saying to another “no, that’s my hand.””

While in the back of the van he managed to work one of his hands out of the handcuffs. When the cops came back:

“They were not impressed.

As soon as they noticed, the rest of them jumped into the van and closed the door behind them. The van started moving. They jumped on me and pinned me against the floor of the van. They redid my handcuffs. I heard them again say something about pepper spray, so I closed my eyes as tightly as I could. I screamed as loudly as possible in the hope that I could alert somebody outside the van to what was going on. They pepper sprayed me several times in my face and my hair. It felt like my mouth was forced open as well to make sure that they got it in my mouth: I know that if I had been in control I would have tried to keep my mouth closed. I had a chest infection at the time, so between this, the pepper spray, and my face being pushed towards the floor of the van, I found it very difficult to breathe. I started shouting that I couldn’t breathe and that they needed to give me some room to breathe. They told me to shut up. I couldn’t see anything because I couldn’t bare to open my eyes.”

Read Shane’s full account HERE

While Garda violence and brutality is NEVER justified, in this case, like in many others, they aren’t even following their own rules or the law. Shane was unlawfully arrested for no apparent reason,  pepper-sprayed inside a moving vehicle, which is against Garda procedure. That he is now charged with so-called ‘offences’ as a result of this is a further insult. Of course, the enforcers of the State routinely lie and break the law in the course of their work, so this is unsurprising.

Dublin ABC will be there to support Shane during the court proceedings  – you too can support Shane by coming to court at 10:30 on Monday morning, and sharing this story widely.


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