Gardaí in Co Mayo have been recorded talking about threatening to rape a woman in their custody. The Gardaí, including a Sergeant, have been prominent in policing protests against Shell’s inland gas refinery.
The Gardaí arrested two campaigners last Thursday (March 31st, 2011) near a Shell compound at Aughoose and seized their video camera. They inadvertently allowed the camera to continue recording in the squad car in which they travelled the 20km to Belmullet Garda station. The two women travelled in two other Garda cars in the same convoy.
After the women were released without charge, and the camera returned to them, the women discovered the recording of the Garda conversation. They were shocked and disturbed by what they heard.
The recording starts with the women being arrested and the camera been taken by Gardaí. The discussion in the Garda car includes the Gardaí talking about threatening to rape one of the women in their custody and laughing. They also talk about whether they should bother adhering to safety procedures for removing protesters from heights: the Sergeant advocates ignoring the rules learned in Garda training.
Referring to one of the women in their custody, who is travelling in the same convoy, the Sergeant says: “Give me your name and address and I’ll rape you.” The threat is repeated by at least one other Garda, to much laughter.
This is not the first time that campaigners around the Corrib project have been threatened with rape by Gardaí. However, it is the first time that such a clear recording has surfaced.
TRANSCRIPT Sergeant: “Who is them two lassies, do you know the two of them?
Garda A: “I don’t know the second one, the first one is with blonde hair.”
Unidentified Garda: “She was up on the tractor earlier on.”
Sergeant: “It’d do no harm to get the second one’s name again?
Garda A: “She’s some Yank. I don’t know who the fuck she is.”
Unidentified Garda: “ Is she a Yank?
Garda A: “It sounds like it, it sounds like it, the accent anyway
Unidentified Garda: “Sounds like a Yank or Canadian.”
Garda A: “Well whoever, we’ll get Immigration fucking on her.”
Sergeant: “She refused to give her name and address and told she would be arrested.”
Garda A: “.......and deported”
Sergeant: “And raped.”
Garda A: “I wouldn’t go that far yet….. She was living down at that crusty camp, fuck sake, you never know what you might get.”
Sergeant: “Give me your name and address or I’ll rape you.”
Unidentified Garda: “Hold it there, give me your name and address there, I’ll rape you.”
Sergeant: “Or I’ll definitely rape you.”