GARDA HQ has launched an internal investigation after an officer was given a three-month sentence for assaulting a handcuffed drink-driving suspect in a garda station.
Drogheda-based Gda Drew Morgan was found guilty after a hearing at Dundalk District Court before Judge Alan Mitchell.
The investigation has been sparked by comments made by Judge Mitchell, who described the case as "disturbing".
Last Friday the court heard that none of the gardai who were in the small public office of the station where the incident took place said they had seen how the victim was injured.
The Garda Siochana Om-budsman Commission (GSOC), which brought the prosecution against Gda Morgan, is also considering launching a new probe into the affair following the judge's remarks.
The prosecution arose from a complaint to the GSOC by Clogherhead man Derek Bradley who said he had been arrested by gardai near a pub in Drogheda shortly after 1am on February 6, 2011.
Gardai had seen Mr Bradley driving his Toyota Avensis at speed, and an unmarked car flashed the lights at him to stop. Mr Bradley (35) pulled over and was told he was being arrested on suspicion of drink driving.
He was taken to Drogheda garda station where he was introduced to the officer in charge, Gda Emma Payne.
Mr Bradley claimed he sat on one of the two seats in the public office and didn't cause any trouble, though all the garda witnesses said he had been "roaring and shouting" and calling Gda Payne in particular "profane names".
Mr Bradley alleged that when Gda Morgan came into the public office, he asked him if he was refusing to give a sample.
Mr Bradley said he told Gda Morgan he wasn't refusing, he just wanted his handcuffs loosened. He claimed Gda Morgan said "I will loosen them for you" and Mr Bradley walked towards him before turning his back to present the handcuffs.
Mr Bradley said: "He just grabbed me, bent me down and ran me into the radiator.
"I impacted the radiator with my right shoulder and banged off it. He picked me up by the shirt and it ripped. He put me up against the wall and said, 'Now you will give a sample?'"
A GSOC officer showed the court a short-sleeved checked shirt that Mr Bradley was wearing on the night, with a rip in it.
Mr Bradley said Gda Payne, Gda Padraig Keegan, Sgt Fergal O'Toole and Gda reservist McKenna were in the small office when the incident happened. He sat on the floor and cried.
He said he spoke to Gda Payne shortly after the incident and asked if she had seen what happened. He said she said no.
Gda Keegan was asked the same question, Mr Bradley said, and he replied: "If I'm investigated, I will answer questions."
Mr Bradley said Sgt O'Toole "shrugged his shoulders" when he was asked about it.
Mr Bradley was charged with failing to give a breath sample and bailed.
In convicting Gda Morgan, Judge Mitchell said he found the evidence "disturbing to say the least" where gardai had "looked away at that moment and were not seeing or hearing".
He added: "It brings to mind 'see, speak and hear no evil'."