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category dublin | crime and justice | news report author Monday July 08, 2013 15:20author by Shane Report this post to the editors

My account of my arrest and torture by undercover police at the counter-demonstration to the "Rally for Life" march on Saturday.

At the counter-demonstration to Youth Defence's "Rally for Life" march, I was manhandled and arrested for no reason by plain clothes police. In the van, I was pepper sprayed several times while handcuffed behind my back and pinned to the ground. I was kept in a cell for about two hours before being released without charge. This is my account of what happened.

The guards lifting me by the arms and pulling me by the handcuffs
The guards lifting me by the arms and pulling me by the handcuffs

At around 2:45 PM, on Saturday the 6th of July, I was standing on O'Connell Street at the counter demo to Youth Defence's astroturfed "Rally for Life" march. 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. At around this time I was notified by somebody near me (whom I didn't know) 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 of what was happening, 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. I knew however that that provision only applies if I was or had been acting contrary to the provisions of 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.

Seconds later a cop grabbed a hold of me from behind, and many more soon joined in. They had me pinned on the ground with my hands behind my back. They were trying to put handcuffs on me, but from what I heard them saying, it sounded like they were having difficulty doing so. I heard one of the cops saying to another "no, that's my hand". They dragged me across the road and forced me into the back of a paddy wagon. While they were dragging me across the road, and after they had gotten me away from the larger mass of people, they started talking about pepper spraying me, but seemingly decided against it.

Once I was in the back of the van, I was left alone with the driver. I couldn't see very well because my hair was stuck to my face with sweat, and I couldn't get it out of the way because my hands were handcuffed behind my back. One of the cops that had dragged me there opened the door of the van briefly to say something to me to the effect of "was that worth getting arrested for?". After he closed the door, I was left alone for what felt like a few minutes. Without really expecting it to work, I tried to wriggle my left arm out of the handcuff in which it was entrapped. To my astonishment, it was actually pretty easy, and I got it out no problem. A few seconds later the cops that had dragged me into the van returned. Now, in retrospect, it would probably have been wiser to keep my hands behind my back and hide the fact that I had escaped from their handcuffs, but I felt such a sense of pride in my work that I showed it off to them. 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.

We arrived at the Bridewell. As I stumbled out of the van, not being able to see anything, and still handcuffed from behind, I could hear the cops laughing at me. They brought me to a water fountain and took the handcuffs off my hands. I tried to wash the pepper spray out my eyes, mouth and hair. It was only after about five minutes of washing that I was even able to open my eyes. As soon as I got my eyes open, the cops taunted me, saying things like "you stupid fucking idiot", "was that worth getting arrested for?" and "do you think you deserved that?". Once I had recovered from the worst effects of the pepper spray, they went through the formalities (taking my details, searching me and so on) and put me in a cell. I passed the time in the cell by making music (using my voice for melody and my hands and the walls of the cell for percussion) and meditating. At around 5:00 PM I was released without charge, but I was told I would be sent a summons, something which I very much doubt.

At no point was I told why I was being arrested; I only found out at the station when I heard one of the cops mentioning "sections 6 and 8" to another. I could not see the badge numbers of the cops who dragged me into the van and assaulted me because most of them were in plain clothes. None of them ever showed me any identification. Obviously after I was pepper sprayed I couldn't see anything at all. I do know that the cop that arrested me was from Store Street Garda Station (even though I was taken to the Bridewell), but I've forgotten his name (I have no charge sheet because I was not charged with anything). I would recognise it if I heard somebody say or it saw it written down. I also know that cop that seemed to be the most aggressive of the bunch was a baldy headed guy from Mountjoy Garda Station, but he was in plain clothes and never told me his name. If anybody who is reading this has pictures or videos of any of these events or can help in identifying the cops responsible for them, I would really appreciate it if you could get in touch with me.

The four guards who dragged me across the street. Does anybody know who they are?
The four guards who dragged me across the street. Does anybody know who they are?

The guard from Store Street Garda Station who arrested me (with sunglasses). Does anybody know who he is?
The guard from Store Street Garda Station who arrested me (with sunglasses). Does anybody know who he is?

The guard from Mountjoy Garda Station who was the most aggressive of the bunch. Does anybody know who he is?
The guard from Mountjoy Garda Station who was the most aggressive of the bunch. Does anybody know who he is?

The guard from Store Street Garda Station who arrested me (without sunglasses). Does anybody know who he is?
The guard from Store Street Garda Station who arrested me (without sunglasses). Does anybody know who he is?

Caption: Arrest at Pro Life Rally July 6th 2013

author by JD - ACCAWpublication date Mon Jul 08, 2013 19:46author email jayjaydeegan at gmail dot comauthor phone 0852868198Report this post to the editors

To help identify the plain clothes Gardai involved in this please contact :
Inspector Jo o Leary
Store Street Garda Station
(Female Inspector)

She was on duty on the day in FULL uniform.
I was speaking to her just after 2pm on the day.

There are 7 male and and 1 female plain clothes Garda in close proximity
to this incident at the outset (not to mention uniformed Gardai).

It is shocking that a young man exercising his right to protest was treated in this THUGGISH manner in 2013.

John Deegan


author by mad dog Mc glincheypublication date Mon Jul 08, 2013 20:16Report this post to the editors

stater animals

author by cinamengpublication date Mon Jul 08, 2013 20:58Report this post to the editors

I'm sure you've seen this by now but just in case not, there is video footage to back up your story.

author by Eirerebpublication date Mon Jul 08, 2013 21:35Report this post to the editors

After reading and seeing this, I have emailed the Gardaí press office demanding an explanation and asking if an investigation into the incident was ongoing and if not, how would a member of the public go about making a formal complaint regarding this young man's appalling treatment. I would urge others to do the same. In my experience over the years, the majority of undercover Gardaí are nothing more than thugs with too much power and the way uniformed Gardaí simply accept anything they say or do (as seen in this video) is sick and draconian.

author by fluffybiscuitspublication date Tue Jul 09, 2013 01:02Report this post to the editors


I e mailed them for more info, response on that thread,,,

author by John Deegan - ACCAWpublication date Tue Jul 09, 2013 01:18author email jayjaydeegan at gmail dot comauthor phone 0852868198Report this post to the editors

Direct all inquiries to the identification of the gardai involved to;

Garda Inspector Jo O Leary
Store Street
Garda Station Dublin 1
She was on duty AT the protest.

(Pic enclosed)

Garda Inspector Jo O Leary Store Street Garda Station
Garda Inspector Jo O Leary Store Street Garda Station

author by JD - ACCAWpublication date Tue Jul 09, 2013 01:25Report this post to the editors


Garda Inspector Jo O leary can be seen here at the begining of this clip.

author by Kaspublication date Tue Jul 09, 2013 01:46Report this post to the editors


Uploaded the video so there is more than one source in case it goes missing.
I also have it saved as im sure the person that videoed it does.. (http://www.youtube.com/user/dirtbag110?feature=watch)

author by Billpublication date Tue Jul 09, 2013 02:08Report this post to the editors

First of all I'd like to say to the person who said you deserved it no, he didn't. Even the gardai knew he didn't because he wasn't charged with anything. The police do not have the authority to just tell you what to do and you have to obey. they have to stay within the limit of the law and taking a look at what's going on in public space is allowed.

Anyway, sounds made up. Sorry but it does. Pepper spray should never be sprayed in a crowded, enclosed environment. It's an aerosol, it goes everywhere and hangs in the air. If the police were on top of you, pinning you down they'd all be suffering from pepper spray in their eyes, nose and throat. Unless it was the stream of gel, tbh I don't know which type they use but if that were the case you'd know if it was sprayed in your mouth because it would be a jet of gel flying in your mouth.

author by Shanepublication date Tue Jul 09, 2013 02:49Report this post to the editors

This isn't made up. You're right that it's insane for them to use pepper spray like that, but they did. Anybody who saw me after I got out on that day can verify that I experienced pain any time my hair got into my eyes (because there was residue still in my hair).

author by fumanpublication date Tue Jul 09, 2013 08:54Report this post to the editors

These fascist assholes give good gardai a bad name to see how they cowardly ganged up on one innocent person and denied him his human rights not to talk of his later treatment in custody.I sincerly hope he gets a good barrister and sues them for every penny he can and as publicly as possible

author by Anonymouspublication date Tue Jul 09, 2013 09:36Report this post to the editors

In the top picture two Gards are escording the guy with long hair. The Gard in the background middle is named Rob Rowe of Store Street Garda Station.

author by Mary Ryan - not relevant publication date Tue Jul 09, 2013 09:50Report this post to the editors

Without doubt, this is most shocking. I have great respect for the majority of Gardai and have often being helped by them.

The behaviour described above is 100% unacceptable. That person who said the victim of this should not be 'gawking' is the type of person who turned a blind eye to events in Europe during World War 11 when things got out of hand and millions were murdered.

Evil happens because people do not speak out against it. This was evil, a transgression against human rights & a huge worry for Ireland which is possible on the verge of social unrest.

author by eoindotcompublication date Tue Jul 09, 2013 18:52Report this post to the editors

hey, saw what happened and got a few photos. not sure how much use they are to you but they do show the face of one of the gardai more clearly and also how one of them put you in a headlock to bring you down to the ground.


gardai faces
gardai faces

Related Link: http://www.flickr.com/photos/eos-film/sets/721576345626...9121/
author by Concernedpublication date Tue Jul 09, 2013 22:14Report this post to the editors

In the clip posted by JD - ACCAW, about 13 seconds in, there's a BLOKE holding a poster saying "get your rosaries off my ovaries" That must be one confused dude!!

author by NotInvolvedpublication date Wed Jul 10, 2013 15:48Report this post to the editors

You should report them to the Garda Síochána Ombudsman Commission (aka An Garda Síochána Internal Affairs).


author by Gardai supporter - Nonepublication date Mon Dec 30, 2013 10:49Report this post to the editors

This article just seems to me to be yet another lie from your type who do all they can to cover the illegal things you do by saying oh poor me I was arrested for nothing (that's a lie) and the bad Gardai beat me up too. You people think that you can do as you please and anyone who confronts you is in the wrong and should be made out to be the villain that you guys really are. An Garda Siochana do a tough and worthy job like any police and you guys need to get a life and start obeying the law like the rest of us.

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