Gardaí accused over council protest injuries
A young man has complained to the Garda Ombudsman over injuries he says he received during a recent protest at South Dublin County Council against water and household charges.
Aaron Nolan (19) alleges he was knocked unconscious after having his head grabbed and thrown at a wall by gardaí who were called to the council offices during the protest.
Mr Nolan was among a group of 30 members of a campaign against the charges who occupied the council chambers ahead of a meeting of councillors on February 11th.
“I fell unconscious and was handcuffed while I was unconscious,” he said yesterday, ahead of handing in the complaint.
Mr Nolan said he was arrested and taken to Tallaght Garda station. After being released he said his speech was slurred and his vision blurred. He went to Tallaght hospital where he was kept in overnight with concussion, he said.
A Garda Ombudsman spokesman said it did not comment on individual complaints. The length of time it took to process complaints differed depending on the incident, he added.
Five people were arrested at South Dublin County Council during the incident, including MEP Paul Murphy. All were released without charge soon afterwards.
Mr Murphy said he was surprised at the Garda reaction to the protest. He alleges gardaí were trying to arrest protesters, take their phones and cameras and had threatened them with pepper spray. “We expected them to come in, negotiate with us, give us some time and tell us we had to leave,” he said.
Protests also took place in council offices in Swords, Dublin city, Kilkenny and Galway, where one arrest was made.