New Events

Longford

no events posted in last week

Blog Feeds

The Saker
A bird's eye view of the vineyard

offsite link Stop the Empire?s War on the World: From Tom Lehrer to Robert Frost Sat Dec 03, 2022 06:30 | The Saker
By Batiushka for the Saker blog There always have been and always will be clashes and tensions between different civilisations. In the words of an old Tom Lehrer song, National

offsite link Moveable Feast Cafe 2022/12/02 ? Open Thread Fri Dec 02, 2022 19:30 | herb
2022/12/02 19:30:01Welcome to the ‘Moveable Feast Cafe’. The ‘Moveable Feast’ is an open thread where readers can post wide ranging observations, articles, rants, off topic and have animate discussions of

offsite link The ABC Of Power: Asians, Be Confident! China Orders Civilization To Man-Up Fri Dec 02, 2022 17:17 | The Saker
Xi?s China To Be The First Civilization In The Galaxy To Dispense Confidence By Decree By Thorsten J. Pattberg Why The Renewed Urgency? Before we explain Mr. Xi Jinping?s much

offsite link The Goldilocks War Fri Dec 02, 2022 16:07 | The Saker
by Dmitry Orlov for the Saker blog Are you happy with the way the war in the former Ukraine is going? Most people aren’t?for one reason or another. Some people

offsite link Russia withdraws from the Western project Fri Dec 02, 2022 15:57 | The Saker
translated by the Saker community translators source The world elite is not ready to compromise with Moscow by Alexander Khramchikhin The training of Australian submariners on the British nuclear submarine

The Saker >>

Public Inquiry
Interested in maladministration. Estd. 2005

offsite link RTE in breach of its own editorial principles Anthony

offsite link Waiting for SIPO Anthony

offsite link Formal complaint against Robert Watt Anthony

offsite link RTE bias complaint Anthony

offsite link Fergus Finlay and the maternity hospital ‘gotcha’ trap Anthony

Public Inquiry >>

Human Rights in Ireland
A Blog About Human Rights

offsite link UN human rights chief calls for priority action ahead of climate summit Sat Oct 30, 2021 17:18 | Human Rights

offsite link 5 Year Anniversary Of Kem Ley?s Death Sun Jul 11, 2021 12:34 | Human Rights

offsite link Poor Living Conditions for Migrants in Southern Italy Mon Jan 18, 2021 10:14 | Human Rights

offsite link Right to Water Mon Aug 03, 2020 19:13 | Human Rights

offsite link Human Rights Fri Mar 20, 2020 16:33 | Human Rights

Human Rights in Ireland >>

Black Woman Handcuffed and Arrested for Not Paying Fare.

category longford | rights, freedoms and repression | news report author Tuesday August 12, 2008 09:13author by Margaret O'Regan - SWP Report this post to the editors

Handcuffed/Arrested for Not Paying Fare.

A black woman was handcuffed and arrested at Longford Railway Station yesterday evening at about 6 pm for not paying her fare on a bus or train.

While standing on the platform at Longford Railway Station yesterday evening at about 6 pm, I saw a black woman, who was handcuffed, being taken away, presumably to the local Garda Station. Her crime? Not paying her fare on a train or bus - I believe it was an 8 euro fare!

There were two Gardai, and one of them had her handcuffed arms pulled over to one side, as she was placed between them when they walked along the platform. She couldn't straighten herself up, and she kept repeating, in a calm voice "You are hurting my hands - you are pinching my arm". The two Gardai ignored this.

I was shocked that this violence was perpetrated on a woman who was alleged to have done no more than not pay her fare - I believe a mere 8 euros.

Does anyone know who this woman was, and the outcome?

author by Factor 50publication date Tue Aug 12, 2008 13:05author address author phone Report this post to the editors

Margrate,
Suppose you could have
a) paid her fair
b) taken the numbers of the Garda and accomponied her to the station to make sure she was not treated in a more violent way.

The idea that you witnessed an incident and stood by doing nothing is hardly worthy of a news report.

The colour of the individual is irrelevent.

author by Albatrot - Modernista Communistapublication date Tue Aug 12, 2008 13:41author address author phone Report this post to the editors

I don’t think the colour of the individual is irrelevant in this case. Would they have got the same treatment if they were Irish and white? I think not. People get nabbed for fair evasion every day. I often see them at Connolly. However they don’t get collared and cuffed by the boys in blue. This is a clear case of institutional racism!

author by tomeilepublication date Tue Aug 12, 2008 13:57author address author phone Report this post to the editors

I disagree with Factor 50 about race being irrelevant . I don't think the gardai in Longford would have put handcuffs on a local member of the Irish Countrywoman's Association if she hadn't paid an eight euro train fare .
It might indeed have been better if Ms O'Reagan had intervened or had gone to the Gardai Station with the woman , but we don't know the full circumstances . Sometimes people can be shocked by witnessing something like this and not know what to do . It's good that Ms O'Reagan was at least concerned enough about the incident to report on it here .

author by repressionpublication date Tue Aug 12, 2008 14:16author address author phone Report this post to the editors

Gardai would do this to most poor people regardless of their colour, obviously they wouldn't manhandle rich people or posh white people for fear of bad publicity, but its ok for them to abuse poor people, working class people, black people the vunerable and confused.

Nooone would intervene because most people are scared of the harsh reprisal from violent gardai thugs, so that explains that in a nutshell.

author by harry potter lookalikepublication date Tue Aug 12, 2008 14:40author address author phone Report this post to the editors

In situations like this, a concerned activist could many things.

Digital cameras are small and cheap, and your mobile phone might even be equipped with one, so taking pictures of the incident should be fairly easy. Photographs and video can be very useful when taking complaints against the gardaí, publicising the situation (such as here on indymedia) and fighting court proceedings.

It's wise to take a few out of focus shots or from angles that don't necessarily show the face of the person being arrested, as they may not want to be indentified publicly.

If you see someone being mistreated you can ask the gardaí why they are behaving in such a way, and ask them politely to stop (obviously it's better to do this with some witnesses and a video camera or voice recorder). The gardai are supposed to wear ID numbers to help in following up incidents like this.

It might be useful to contact local elected representives. Clearly, you won't get very far with Fianna Fail or Fine Gael, but there is usually a Sinn Fein rep somewhere (wasn't the current or last mayor of Longford from Sinn Fein?) and they will write a letter to the superintendent if you ask them to, asking for details of the case and expressing your concern at the garda behaviour.

You can also contact the local media like papers and radio stations etc to ask them to ascertain why the person was treated so heavy handedly.

All this will raise the issue in people's minds, and hopefully help the debate about the accountability of the police. The facts of this case are that are woman who was alleged to have not paid her fare was handcuffed and treated roughly- her colour, as far as the law is concerned, should be irrelevant.

author by Paulie McApublication date Tue Aug 12, 2008 17:14author address author phone Report this post to the editors

Travelling on the public transport system without a valid ticket constitutes a criminal offence and has nothing to do with a person's nationality, ethnicity, skin colour or social standing.. The bottom line is that this woman has been caught without a valid ticket and now has to face the consequences of her action. Whether or not the arresting officers would or would not have handcuffed an Irish/white woman suspected of travelling without a valid ticket is mere speculation and not relevant to the case whatsoever.

author by Mark Cpublication date Tue Aug 12, 2008 18:33author address author phone Report this post to the editors

Paulie,

The relevance or the colour of this woman's skin is not, entirely, speculation, for, if you look at some of the comments above, Albatrot says, "People get nabbed for fair evasion every day. I often see them at Connolly. However they don’t get collared and cuffed by the boys in blue." (I presume these are mostly white (believing we'd be told otherwise if otherwise was the case, given that racism is a theme of this thread).) So if we are to go on what Albatrot says lots of people are stopped for not having a ticket ("nabbed every day... often see them") but they are not treated in a rough manner - perhaps because of the colour of their skin. If, then, we take what Margaret O'Regan says we see that the one black person who is "nabbed" is handcuffed.

Taking this on board, perhaps an argument about inherent racism could be mounted.

That said, we are given very little background to the story - for example, perhaps she is a repeat offender, perhaps she refused arrest, perhaps she struggled, perhaps the Gardaí had done everything by the book and this was the next step in their repertoire.

Mark.

author by Chrissiepublication date Tue Aug 12, 2008 19:22author address author phone Report this post to the editors

No need to be black or poor to be roughed up by gards, come to Rossport and find out.

author by Mike Novackpublication date Wed Aug 13, 2008 12:26author address author phone Report this post to the editors

"That said, we are given very little background to the story - for example, perhaps she is a repeat offender, perhaps she refused arrest, perhaps she struggled, perhaps the Gardaí had done everything by the book and this was the next step in their repertoire."

That's an all too common problem with our independnet media, careless journalism, or in other cases, propoganda passing as journalism (the best propoganda being true, but misleading because incomplete).

The point I am trying to make here is that the initial observavtion (I see no white people cuffed when caught evadibg fare -- this IS a case of color prejudice) is enough evidence to justify investigating further, not enough for rreporting conclusions yet. Certainly not a "statistics" conclusion. Do you even have enough balck folks getting arrested for fare evasion in Ireland for a valid statisitic?

So yes, really had to rule out "other circumstances". Including obvious ones like when they arrested her for evading fare asked for ID and what she shpowed them obviously forged? Note that the initial story didn't even confirm that WHAT she was arrested for was just the fare evasion.

author by Factor 50publication date Wed Aug 13, 2008 14:36author address author phone Report this post to the editors

So Margerate did you or any of your SWP pals check with the Garda station re events ?

You keep refering to the fare being a "mere 8 euro" ,taking into account that many seeking refugee status or asylum must subsist on 19 euro per week this indeed is no mere sum.

I have not paid on public transport when I could not afford it.But do now I am working.

I hope the woman is doing ok ,if you could take the time to follow up on your story would be helpfull.If the woman is appearing in court maybe somone down there could go along and give some support or money to pay fine .Things must be bad if you need to jump the fare.

author by K. Harris - newsmedianewspublication date Wed Aug 13, 2008 19:44author address author phone Report this post to the editors

All you (or anyone interested and willing) need to do is phone up the garda station, ask for the duty sergeant (duty inspector if sgt unavailable) and state that you are a freelance journalist and that you are aware of an incident in which a woman was arrested on ... etc and that you would like any information available relating to that incident.

How they react to your questions will be interesting and probably reportable in itself.

Cheers!

author by Veteranpublication date Wed Aug 13, 2008 21:31author address author phone Report this post to the editors

They'll refer you to the Garda press office

Number of comments per page
  
locked We are currently not accepting any more comments on this article.
 
© 2001-2022 Independent Media Centre Ireland. Unless otherwise stated by the author, all content is free for non-commercial reuse, reprint, and rebroadcast, on the net and elsewhere. Opinions are those of the contributors and are not necessarily endorsed by Independent Media Centre Ireland. Disclaimer | Privacy