Garda who appeared to mock Travellers in online video has apologised

Garda and staff member of Dublin Fire Brigade who also took part in video suspended

The garda appears in the video wearing a garda stab vest over his bare chest while drinking a can of cider. He appears to put on a mock Traveller accent and makes reference to domestic abuse.

The garda appears in the video wearing a garda stab vest over his bare chest while drinking a can of cider. He appears to put on a mock Traveller accent and makes reference to domestic abuse.

 

A garda who appeared to mock members of the Travelling Community in a widely shared video has met a Traveller representative organisation to apologise.

The garda has been suspended from duty along with a member of Dublin Fire Brigade who also took part in the video.

The video, which has been shared widely online, shows the garda and fireman mockingly taunt each other in apparent imitation of similar videos sometimes shared by some members of the Travelling community, usually in relation to bare-knuckle boxing matches.

The garda appears in the video wearing a garda stab vest over his bare chest while drinking a can of cider. He appears to put on a mock Traveller accent and makes reference to domestic abuse.

The garda visited the offices of the Traveller advocacy group Pavee Point on Tuesday, according to its director Martin Collins.

“He put his hands up and acknowledged he did something hurtful. We accepted the apology,” Mr Collins said.

Mr Collins commended the garda’s “bravery” in coming in to apologise and said the group is not pushing for his dismissal from the force.

“We don’t see any value is destroying someone’s career. He understands what he did was hurtful.”

The video was made ahead of a charity boxing match between members of both services. The event, which took place in Croke Park last Friday, raised about €50,000 for charity.

The garda is currently suspended pending “an ongoing disciplinary investigation,” a garda spokesman said.

Dublin Fire Brigade confirmed on Tuesday that a firefighter has also been removed from duty “pending investigation.”

“This action is as a result of complaints received surrounding a video release on social media.

“The Brigade has a well-established disciplinary procedure in place and all complaints concerning the inappropriate behaviour of our staff are investigated and where necessary disciplinary action taken.”

Garda Commissioner Drew Harris visited the offices of the Traveller advocacy group Pavee Point on Monday where he met Mr Collins and others. Mr Collins praised the commissioner for taking “swift action” in dealing with the matter.