Independent Media Centre Ireland

Report on Dail protest against rape comments by gardai

category national | gender and sexuality | news report author Friday April 08, 2011 19:44author by Laurence Cox - NUI Maynooth

Today's lunchtime protest expressed widespread outrage at Garda comments and solidarity with the women concerned, and called for an independent inquiry into the policing of the Corrib pipeline.
Protestors outside the Dail
Protestors outside the Dail

150 people took part in a lunchtime protest today, Friday 8 April, outside the Dail, to express their outrage at the rape remarks made by Gardaí against two Shell to Sea female protesters earlier this week. The organisations represented at the demonstration were the Dublin Rape Crisis Centre, Shell to Sea, SIPTU and the National Women’s Council of Ireland as well as migrants, environmental and community organisations. Many individuals concerned with equality and human rights were also in attendance.

The purpose of the gathering was to send a message of solidarity to the women concerned; to stand up for the right of all women to protest without the threat of rape or deportation and to vehemently oppose the trivialisation of rape. It called for the suspension of the Gardai in question. It also called for an end to the harassment of protesters opposed to the Corrib pipeline and to demand a robust, transparent and independent enquiry into the behaviour of the Gardaí.

Ailbhe Smyth of the Feminist Open Forum and Grainne Griffin of Shell to Sea Dublin spoke at the event. The outrage was palpable and it was clear that those attending, as well as many others who sent messages of support, are not prepared for this issue to be brushed aside.

Support was called for the protest in Belmullet to be held tomorrow Saturday at This is being organised by Shell to Sea. For further details, contact Caoimhe Kerins at 085 8328130.

Related Link:

The Rape Crisis Centre banner
The Rape Crisis Centre banner

Comments (13 of 13)

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author by Laurence Coxpublication date Fri Apr 08, 2011 19:56author address author phone

More photos from today's lunchtime protest against the Garda rape comments

Protestors discussing
Protestors discussing

Home-made poster
Home-made poster

Ailbhe Smyth of Feminist Open Forum addresses the protest
Ailbhe Smyth of Feminist Open Forum addresses the protest

Another poster
Another poster

Listening to the speakers
Listening to the speakers

author by Ciaron - Giuseppe Conlon House, Lonodonpublication date Sat Apr 09, 2011 07:00author address author phone

Congratulations on demonstration and turn out. It was aprivilege to attend. One thing that concerned me in the lead up article to this event, was the idea that rape, and the threat of rape, seems to be presented as solely a women's issue here....neglecting the girl, boy men victims. We all know that it is not. Many of us have male frends who have been raped as children and as adults outside and inside custody, whether that custody be jail, police stations, psyche units or whatever.

The threat of rape has been used on myself, friends and other resisters by a minority of screws and cops over the years in various jurisdictions. Sometimes it is a considered and purposeful threat, sometimes they are only projecting their anxieties fliipantly in "don't drop the soap" throwaway cynicsim as they awake form their own nightmares - where while they slept they flipped from being custodian to the one held in custody.

Sexual abuse, rape and the threat of rape is rampant in our societies. It is a mistake and a distraction (maybe a purposeful decoy) to think that is is only experienced by women and girls, not boys and men. That rape is soley a problem of a subculture those who have taken vows of celibacy in religious life.

Rape, the threat of rape and cover up contiuation is about power not primarily about the pursuit of a sexual high. It is often facilitated by a culture of passive deference to authority, whether that be priests, swimming coaches, older siblings, [pareants, doctors, dentists, boy scout leaders, police, teachers, gurus, politicans, occupation troops, left and cult leaders.

While I was ensonsed in (Judge Roy Beane's) Pecos County Jail, Texas, as the only white boy gringo in the prison population one fo the few English books in the small prison library was Susan Brownmiller's 1970's (from memory) comprehensive study of rape "Against our Will". I tried, with some success, to keep this book circulating and a number of fellow prisoners read it.

In Brownmiller, there are chapters in the book on rape as a considered military tactic, citing the example of the Japanese military occupation of China. Considering these historical precedents, it is hardly surprising that the threat of rape is used by the occupation forces in Rossport.....but no less shocking.

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author by Querypublication date Sat Apr 09, 2011 09:03author address author phone

Pat Rabbite declares Corrib Gas Project " WILL CONTINUE" in the interest of private multinational Shell., Well it has not for 11 years in spite of police, infiltrators and a daily beaten community physically and psychologically. A good politician would be asking why. The imposition of will is key to a rape situation used in its broadest sense. Should we talk about the rape of Broadhaven Bay. It has been said often. Crushing the will of the community. It might be time to be informed about FREE PRIOR INFORMED CONSENT a principle growing in law and applicable to this situation as it is in many indigenous communities related yo the UN system. Big companies like Shell are very well aware of it. Our state cannot even get round to ratifying the Aarhus convention so the mechanisms of redress are being denied to communities. The main point is that consutlation is not consent - see Article 27 of a UN decalaration voted on by almost all the States of the UN in 2007. I am guessing Ireland signed it ?

author by porridgepublication date Sat Apr 09, 2011 15:40author address author phone

I have long considered that the state has used the threat of rape as an unspoken deterrent

In a court if you are sent to prison, you are sentenced to have your liberty taken away for a period of time. Thats it.

However, we all know that the real unspoken threat of prison is the threat of what the other prisoners will do to you.

Those in authority are well aware of this fact.

If you are raped in prison, that was never a part of your sentence and you should have recourse to sue the state for a lot of money
That's the only way they'll make an effort to change prison culture, which otherwise serves their ends very well.

author by John Ainsworth - Retired public servantpublication date Sun Apr 10, 2011 14:24author address author phone

Listening to the compromised radio 1 station today, Marion Pelicon, Ireland's greatest journalist, Leitrim's finest Paul Williams was really caught with his pants down. Williams stated some women are notorious for attention seeking and you cannot tarnish 99% of the finest police service on the planet with the two women's delusions. In other words this idiot Wlliams was inferring that the tape was all part of a conspiracy and females who protest and are in the Corrib - that they are only there because they are attracted to men in Uniform. I find Williams a complete gobshite and also a true friend of certain Gardai who give him the lead in the odd story down the years. This is well known in this town. All of a sudden on this morning's Pelican show, one of the panel fired a brilliant shot - a humdinger and said directly to Williams - you were last a VIP guest in the opening of the Aviva Stadium - the Shell corporate box. Williams was taken by surprise and tried to play it down - it was too late. A brilliant comment and for once motor mouth shut up.

Relating to Fear and Prisons, let us not fool ourselves. In the last number of years a small number sadly of young men have been raped. The stigma is appalling and I would hope these unfortunate human beings have sought help somewhere like the Rape Crisis Centre. I also want to mention that Williams who is a great friend of former Governor Lonergen gave a speech in Cork last week and he made a very sarcastic comment about Clare Daly TD - it was offensive. Wiliams said she had a nose that would offend a pelican. This type of language should not be tolerated in any civilised society !!! It is time we all stood up to these modern day bluffers.

John Ainsworth

author by John Kellypublication date Mon Apr 11, 2011 16:19author address author phone

Well done John I did not possess the fortitude to stay listening to Goebbels FM, I tuned over to the O'Brien run spin with Dunphy, but it was somewhat entertaining and the guests more clued in and far less offensive than that Williams.

I personally find Clare Daly quite attractive and as for Mr Williams, he is as an old buddy of mine used to say no f....g oil painting and no surprise that he takes money from all comers, Shell especially.

author by Joe Garry - left alliancepublication date Tue Apr 12, 2011 11:05author address author phone

My wife Mary was at the Cork gathering by Paul Williams and could not believe what he was preaching. Totally against the right of people to protest against Shell and Williams also slated Ming Flanagan as a Hash promoter, he went on to say Ming should be dpoken to by THE DRUG SQUAD. Williams is a complete bluffer but he has RTE behind him. I ask why.
Joe Garry

author by Sceptic . - None Whatsoeverpublication date Tue Apr 12, 2011 13:12author address author phone

Because Rte are bluffers also . thats why they have been backing Williams , if the cartoonists put out a cartoon using a ' ronni '
under his nose he would ease into his Hitler Image no problem .

author by Ambrose Boxer McCann - Limerick Alliancepublication date Tue Apr 12, 2011 15:12author address author phone

i agree with the above postings. I heard the Finucane show last Sunday. It was a disgrace. Williams was well caught out with getting the freebie from Shell at the Aviva Corporate Stand box. Free lunch and champers all around. well done to the Leitrim gobsh.t.e. How dare he say that Clare Daly has a nose like a pelican and then to go on and say that the drug squad should arrest the ming flanagan. when he was asked if Bertie Ahern had left News of the World he again gave a shaky answers - he was not too sure. When I had my first job as a taxi man in Dublin I had the displeasure of driving him to a meeting one day in the Dail. I recall it very well, it was the summer of 1997. He was boasting that he was going into to advise the government on national security. In the name of God I often wonder if this was true. This man is a famous bluffer.

Ambrose Boxer McCann

author by Sceptic - None Whatsoeverpublication date Tue Apr 12, 2011 15:23author address author phone

Williams now believes he is directing who should and who should not be arrested & charged for any crimes against anybody
he chooses to point the finger towards , he is a scourge and a menace to society as much as the ' crims ' he wants pushed out of circulation . I neither like the man nor do i trust the man , he has far too much to say and is actually quite boring to
listen to , he is feeling quite peeved with himself when he opens his big trap on subjects he feels he is entitled to ' direct ' .
Sure why wouldn't he when he has managed ' to bag ' 24 / 7 security for himself .

author by opus diablos - the regressive hypocrite partypublication date Tue Apr 12, 2011 15:41author address author phone

he's well embedded in the rabble-rousin crime industry. Makes a tidy killing for his conformist 'morality'. Tabloid pornographer of the crudest type. keeps em titillated. And nervous, which suits the suits. Tongue well up the law'n'ordure lobby.

author by Sceptic - None Whatsoeverpublication date Tue Apr 12, 2011 15:54author address author phone

Well said , well written ,opus , The Suited ones need the feed as much as ' Adolf ' needs the 'tenshun , could the poor little mite be suffering from a form of adult whatever ye call that syndrome ? 'tis quite possibe y'now , the rug rat himself can live in denial all he wishes but he
is foolin' nobody , not even his self Sur . , M'lud , yur worshipper '

author by Peter Finch - Bird watchingpublication date Fri Apr 15, 2011 22:06author address author phone

Williams is costing the State approx. 400,000 e. annually plus there is round the clock protection. Everytime he moves the Gardai must be on his heels. Why does this gobshite cost the Irish taxpayer this money in the biggest recession since 1929. I believe some Gardai call him the Chosen One because of the overtime and the perks they receive. Recently it is believed he has portrayed Indymedia as a site of complete wasters and perverts. He claims the site is a threat to the security of the State. I believe he made those comments at a seminar at a hotel in Kerry. He was speaking on crime and a guest of Irish Penal Reform Trust - another organisation whose monies come from dark sources - the charity pool while the prisoners with a piss pot under their pillow. Williams is not very well liked among fellow journalists in this town apart from his buddy Myers and Gerry the Barrel Carroll. It is also believed he writes poetry to relax himself and his favorite spot in the summer is Portumna. I am getting a very bad smell here and I am sure a lot more people are getting the same dung up their nose as I am. Recently, Williams has called the Indymedia site the recruitment centre for dissidents against the Peace Process and he has urged the Fine Gaelers to ban the site. We all must stand together now against the dung and the pung and call on the Ming and Wally to shuffle us out of the horseshit. Roll on democracy Finch

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