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‘Rape tape’ protestor Jerrie Ann Sullivan has case struck out

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Jerrie Ann Sullivan: locked herself by neck to teleporter

Jerrie Ann Sullivan: locked herself by neck to teleporter

Jerrie Ann Sullivan: locked herself by neck to teleporter

THE protester who made public the recording in the Corrib 'rape tape' controversy had two convictions struck out yesterday after she apologised in court.

Jerrie Ann Sullivan, a student, told the court the convictions could prevent her from travelling to countries, including the US, in the future.

Judge Raymond Groarke struck out the charges after she gave an undertaking not to unlawfully obstruct the works of Shell Ireland.

Ms Sullivan had previously been convicted of two public-order offences during a Shell to Sea protest earlier this year.

During the protest at Ballygally South, Glenamoy, Ballina, Co Mayo, on January 10 last, she put a bicycle U-lock around her neck and locked herself to a teleporter that was being transported to the Corrib gas terminal in Bellanaboy.

Ms Sullivan, with an address at Inver, Barnatra, Co Mayo, was later convicted at Belmullet District Court of wilful obstruction and failing to comply with the directions of a garda.

Sergeant Aidan Gill told the court yesterday that Ms Sullivan was among a number of protesters who obstructed a truck carrying the teleporter.

He said Ms Sullivan was in "great danger" and could have hanged herself if she had slipped. He added that the lock was eventually broken using power tools after the public road had been blocked for over three hours.

Arrested

Ms Sullivan was fined a total of €315 for the two convictions.

Ms Sullivan's barrister, Leo Mulrooney, read out a list of Ms Sullivan's academic achievements -- she is currently a PhD student at NUI Maynooth -- and detailed her charitable work.

He asked Judge Groarke to strike out the charges as it would affect her prospects.

However, in response to questions from solicitor for the state William Deane, Ms Sullivan refused to accept that what she did was wrong and said she was not sorry.

Judge Groarke said that while he was sympathetic to her plight and acknowledged her "bright future", his hands were tied if Ms Sullivan refused to accept that what she did was wrong.

After a brief adjournment, Ms Sullivan, through her counsel, Mr Mulrooney, apologised to road users, gardai and the court for taking up their time.

Through Mr Mulrooney, she added that she thought what she did could be morally and legally justified at the time.

However, she accepted that it was unlawful and gave an undertaking to not unlawfully obstruct the works of Shell E&P Ireland.

Judge Groarke struck out the charges on condition that Ms Sullivan donate €500 to the Mayo-Roscommon Hospice.

The incident happened after she had come to prominence over the 'rape tape' controversy.

References to "rape" were inadvertently caught on tape following the arrest of two women -- including Ms Sullivan -- at a separate protest in Mayo on March 31 last year.

The Garda Ombudsman said earlier this week that based on the available evidence there were no grounds for any criminal case against any of the five gardai involved in the incident.

The camcorder was handed back to Ms Sullivan after her release from garda custody and it was then that she found the recorded comments.

The second woman involved, believed to be a US citizen, did not wish to be named.

Irish Independent