Protest takes place at Garda station following teenager’s arrest

Gsoc investigating arrest of boy who was riding motorbike in Finglas housing estate

People   protest   outside Finglas Garda station, Dublin, following the arrest of a teenager. Photograph: Dara Mac Dónaill

People protest outside Finglas Garda station, Dublin, following the arrest of a teenager. Photograph: Dara Mac Dónaill

 

A protest took place outside Finglas Garda station in north Dublin on Thursday following the arrest of a teenager last Saturday that is being investigated by the Garda Síochána Ombudsman Commission (Gsoc).

Mobile phone footage of the arrest of a local teenager who had been riding a motorbike in the area has been widely circulated on social media in recent days.

While Garda members are allowed to use force at times during their duties, including when making arrests, it must be proportionate. The Gsoc inquiry is now examining if the level of force used during the boy’s arrest was proportionate.

On Thursday a group of about 60 people gathered outside Finglas Garda station for a lunchtime protest.

Some of those present handed in a letter at the front desk of the station expressing dissatisfaction with the aspects of the policing service in the area. Specifically, some local people allege teenagers were being stopped and searched very frequently and in an invasive manner.

The incident that prompted Thursday’s protest occurred in the Deanstown housing estate in Finglas at about 7.55pm last Saturday.

Tackled

The footage available shows the teenage suspect being tackled to the ground by the gardaí present and then handcuffed. The teenager’s motorcycle helmet also appears to be removed by one of the gardaí as the arrest is taking place.

The matter was referred to Gsoc by a senior Garda officer under provisions in the Garda Síochána Act that provide for the “independent investigation of any matter that appears to indicate that the conduct of a member of the Garda Síochána may have resulted in the death of, or serious harm to, a person”.

Garda Headquarters, Phoenix Park, Dublin, said gardaí in Finglas had “interacted with a motorcycle which failed to stop”, resulting in the arrest of a male teenager on Deanstown Avenue.

The teenager’s case had since been “referred for consideration for inclusion” in the Garda’s youth diversion programme.