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Sunday 28 May 2017

Corrib 'rape tape' woman won't give evidence to probe

Tom Brady Security Editor

ONE of two women at the centre of the Corrib "rape tape" controversy has decided not to give evidence to an inquiry by the Garda Ombudsman Commission.

The chairman of the commission, Dermot Gallagher, said yesterday he expected that the inquiry would be completed by the end of the summer.

Investigators have not received a complaint from either of the women, who were arrested for alleged public-order offences during a protest at the Corrib Oil pipeline, near Belmullet, Co Mayo.

But the commission pointed out that the investigation had been launched in the public interest and it did not need a complaint to initiate it.

However, one of the women has since indicated that she is not interested in taking part in the investigation. The other woman had said at a press conference that she would make a formal complaint -- but she has not proceeded with it.

Both women live in south county Dublin.

Five gardai, including a sergeant, were initially under investigation by the Ombudsman team but two have been cleared of any wrongdoing.

The other three have all been interviewed and the "rape tape" has been sent to the UK for a detailed forensic analysis.

The five gardai were in a patrol car on their way back to Belmullet from the protest when three of them were recorded discussing the arrest earlier that day of the two female protesters.

Recorded

The women were taken to the station for questioning in another car. Their tape recorder had been confiscated and the gardai did not know that it was still recording.

Mr Gallagher said some further evidence had to be gathered before inquiries were completed.

Asked about the poor relations between the gardai and the protesters over several years, the Ombudsman commissioners said the number of complaints against the gardai had fallen significantly and did not warrant an investigation into the "bigger picture".

The commission's annual report, published yesterday, noted that it had managed five public-interest investigations during 2010 and three of those had not yet been completed.

One case was into allegations of collusion by gardai with convicted drug dealer Kieran Boylan and relationships between Boylan and any member of the force. Mr Gallagher said a very thorough investigation was now in its final stages.

For the first time, the commission compiled a profile of the typical complainant and found that he was white, Irish, a home owner and with a third-level education.

The report showed the commission received 2,258 complaints from the public in 2010, of which 722 were inadmissible.

The complaints contained 4,931 allegations of misconduct by gardai, of which 1,087 were inadmissible, with abuse of authority, neglect of duty, discourtesy and assault the biggest factors involved.

Irish Independent

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