Gardai leave them Shel-shocked!!
Gardai over reaction as fans leave eircom league game leaves fans dismayed
As i walked away from a thouroughly entertaining game between Shelbourne FC and Cork City at Tolka Park last Friday, the whole evening was soured when I came face to face with the sickening reality of shambolic policing.
So as i walked through the gates at Tolka Park chatting with my mates, analysing the minute detail of Shels' two-all draw with old rivals Cork, the evening suddendly changed into an angry bitter confrontation.
From behind us we heard a commotion and seen a guy of no more than seventeen years of age been dragged from the crowd by two Gardai. They proceeded to throw the guy in between a prefab and a brick wall. Immediately, my friends and I knew that this did not look right and what came next sickened me. A third guarda ran in and smashed a knee into the guys groin. At this point people had seen enough and my friends shouted ''You cant do that!''. A fourth garda emerged from the group and proceeded to tell us to ''fuck off out of here before i arrest you''. When i asked on what grounds he would arrest us on he said ''Section 8'' without stating any act. He seemed to be losing the plot.
I walked up to another Garda who looked senior and told him that i was upset at what i had just witnessed and that i wanted to know what station they were from. He refused to tell me. This game of ''tell me your number/rank/station'' went on for around five minutes before the guard who threatened to arrest us said ''we're from Whitehall'', the same gentleman said ''go on and fuckin' report us''
So we tried to take his advice. My friend and I went to the aforementioned station to make a complaint. At the station we stated our concerns and wer told the following. Firstly, the guard at the desk told us there was no complaint form, this I now know to be a lie. The form is the GCS1 Form and they are required to give it to us. He offered to take our details on a folded bit of paper, understandably we refused this. We were told they did not know who would have been policing the match. When asked are there any guards from this station down there, the response was ''I don't know, they could be from Santry or Ballymun''. I find it impossible to believe that they do not have a duty board telling them where groups of guards are from the station. If the guard at Whitehall was telling us the truth, then the officer who was at the match lied to us. Either way, someones lying.
So where does that leave us? Well, not as lost as you mighjt think. You see I am currently training as a social worker and my friend is training as a solicitor so we both have some understanding of the law. We also have several squad numbers for the guards in question (they refused to give us these, we had to read them off their shoulders). Our next step will be to the recently formed Garda Complaints Board, we feel we cannot let this lie. Any time when the ones upholding the law in society are lying to protect each other, it's time to be concerned. What we have to do now is our very best to seek both an apology and some accountability for Garda actions. We might have a long wait, but it might just be worth it.