Mayo man alleges garda made sexual remarks in 2006

Thu, Apr 7, 2011, 01:00

ANOTHER Corrib Gas protester has released details of a conversation he had with a Garda in 2006. Recorded on tape, it allegedly features an exchange during which derogatory remarks of a sexual nature were made about his wife.

John Monaghan, spokesman for the community group Pobal Chill Chomáin, which has opposed the Corrib gas pipeline routes on health and safety grounds, said remarks were made during an early morning protest at Ballinaboy on October 13th, 2006.

Mr Monaghan attempted to lodge a complaint with the Garda Síochána Ombudsman Commission about the incident after the body was established in May 2007.

However, he was informed that as the incident was outside the time remit of the Ombudsman, it could not be investigated.

Mr Monaghan said the exchange occurred at about 8.30am, when he and fellow protesters were discussing “the general attitude of gardaí on the protest”.

At the time, both the Garda and some protesters carried video cameras during protests.

He saw a garda who he claims had previously assaulted him and others, and who had made “sinister and threatening comments” to a “number of individuals”.

On the tape which Mr Monaghan has released, and which he had offered to the Garda Ombudsman in 2007 he is heard making a joke about the “XL” label on the back of the garda’s jacket.

He said the label probably related to his “mouth”.

He says the garda then made the derogatory comments of a sexual nature about his wife.

On the tape the garda then said: “I hope you’ve recorded all that now John, have you?”

Mr Monaghan repeatedly asked him whether he had any more comments to make about his wife.

“I don’t know the woman . . . well, not exactly,” was the first response.

“I don’t know your wife,” the garda then responded to Mr Monaghan’s persistent questioning.

Mr Monaghan said he subsequently, unsuccessfully, sought an apology from the officer, and informed the then Garda superintendent – who is no longer based in the area – of the incident.

Mr Monaghan alleges his wife had previously been the subject of an intimidating experience from a garda when she was stopped on the road.