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NGO Report Slams Garda Abuse in Mayo

category national | rights, freedoms and repression | feature author Tuesday July 10, 2007 02:23author by email improvemyself at hotmail dot com Report this post to the editors

Immediate Intervention Called For

featured image
The friendly arm of the law

A recent independent report by a delegation of international human rights and environmental activists has slammed the actions of the Gardai in Mayo for suppressing peaceful protest and creating civil unrest.

The report, issued by the Global Community Monitor (GCM), was compiled from evidence gathered at a public hearing as well as through interviews, emails and video footage. It does not, however, take a position in relation to the construction of Shell’s pipeline.

Related Links: GCM Report | Reclaiming the Streets: Garda Review on the Ballinaboy Protests | Indymedia Rossport Archive | Shell to Sea | Rossport Solidarity Camp |

Members of the Shell To Sea group, gardai and the media were consulted in the investigative process but requests for a meeting with Mayo county council and Belmullet’s Garda superintendent were rejected. Responding to the report in the local media Tony McNamara, Garda Chief Superintendent of the Mayo Division, claimed the report was “totally biased”.

The report finds that the behaviour of the gardai in Mayo is endangering the safety of people participating in non-violent protests as well as consistently infringing on their civil rights and recommends immediate intervention by human rights organisations.

“The situation in County Mayo arising from the Royal Dutch Shell pipeline and on-shore refinery has already resulted in serious injury, loss of trust in the rule of law and the Gardai and disruption to the culture and values of the area.”

“No outside intervention by the European Union or World Human Rights protection entities has occurred to remedy the situation. This lack of action and appropriate response threatens to create an even more explosive situation.”

Amongst the concerns raised in the report is the harassment of local opponents to Shell’s project in public places including their homes and at public talks. The report also states that there is evidence of gardai verbally threatening people with phrases like; ‘I have you, your time is up,’ and ‘stand up and you will be beaten down’.

There were also accusations of intimidation made against the protesters but GCM were not provided with any evidence to back up such claims. Garda intimidation was backed up by evidence which included eye-witness reports, photos and video footage. Gardai, including senior ranking members, were found to have used excessive force and failed to give proper warning of attacks.

The report finds that the situation in Mayo is causing people who are not aligned with either side of the dispute to lose faith in the Gardai and the government. A local landowner stated that he has “lost respect for the Gardai after the violence around the Shell facility.” Lack of adequate accountability is highlighted;

“People in the community have submitted complaints to the necessary authorities with regard to the issues they have with the police in how they are dealing with people protesting and the public in general.”

“To our knowledge none of these cases have been taken forward. Thus people have lost faith in the system, and have stopped submitting complaints. One of the complaints was sent to Dublin, yet after three and a half months there has been no response”

Global Community Monitor is an NGO which works with communities across the globe facing environmental and human rights problems. Their stated role is to “hold major corporations accountable in the U.S and throughout the world. Through GCM, local community struggles are linked and their efforts multiplied”.
Their delegation consisted of 3 members of Friends of the Earth and two human rights activists and did not involve investigating the safety or suitability of the Corrib Gas project.

Related Link:

 #   Title   Author   Date 
   independent my arse     dont insult my intelligence    Tue Jul 10, 2007 12:13 
   bias     w.    Tue Jul 10, 2007 12:37 
   disgraceful     chrissie    Tue Jul 10, 2007 20:18 
   read the Testimony's     bewildered    Tue Jul 10, 2007 20:52 
   'bout time     bj    Tue Jul 10, 2007 23:07 
   intervention     d.harry    Wed Jul 11, 2007 12:40 
   People in Erris need all the help they can get     cool j    Thu Jul 12, 2007 00:30 
   Not very balanced     GOSIMEON    Thu Jul 12, 2007 12:41 
   Bias - explain     Jack    Thu Jul 12, 2007 13:15 
 10   Jack     dont insult my intelligence    Thu Jul 12, 2007 13:55 
 11   not quite     Jack    Thu Jul 12, 2007 14:16 
 12   ah now Donal. never ever criticise people for their lack of education here.     humble type who doesn't appreciate the almond centres    Sat Jul 14, 2007 14:39 
 13   Unreal...     Gosimeo    Sun Jul 15, 2007 13:41 
 14   smokescreen     frank    Sun Jul 15, 2007 15:01 
 15   to the guy who's using amnesty as his example.     Sarah    Sun Jul 15, 2007 15:53 
 16   spin     get real    Sun Jul 15, 2007 16:31 
 17   so..     frank    Sun Jul 15, 2007 18:39 
 18   thank you frank     get real    Sun Jul 15, 2007 18:59 
 19   exactly     frank    Mon Jul 16, 2007 01:16 
 20   Would to contact Arachne     Man Thrown down the Drain    Tue Jul 17, 2007 16:10 
 21   Up Up and Away     Privatisation    Tue Jul 17, 2007 18:37 
 22   EU     x tract    Mon Jul 30, 2007 23:07 
 23   ......?     ... me again    Tue Jul 31, 2007 08:53 
 24   Sued by shell? I don't think so     think again    Tue Jul 31, 2007 15:46 
 25   talking shop     toothless    Tue Jul 31, 2007 16:27 
 26   show solidarity     chrissie    Sat Aug 04, 2007 10:31 
 27   timing     j    Sat Aug 04, 2007 22:44 
 28   'Timing' issue here , too .     Sharon .    Sun Aug 05, 2007 01:09 

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