Gardai identify colleagues in 'Reclaim the Streets' trial
SENIOR officers have identified each of the three gardai on trial at Dublin Circuit Criminal Court for beating a 'Reclaim the Streets' protester on the head with their batons in May 2002.
Inspector Brendan Connolly also told the jury that after witnessing an incident in the College Green area, he stepped between protesters and gardai and ordered gardai to replace their drawn batons in their pockets.
Gardai Ronan Judge and Thomas Victory of Store Street Station, and Garda Paul Daly from Pearse Street Station have denied assaulting Mr Rory McMonagle (23), of Neville Road, Rathgar, on May 6, 2002.
Chief Superintendent Gerard Byrne and Supt Francis Clarke of Store Street pointed out Victory and Judge on video, to prosecuting counsel Mr John O'Kelly SC. Inspectors Daniel Quill and Connolly of Pearse Street Station pointed out Gda Daly. Chief Supt Byrne told defence counsel, Mr Patrick J McCarthy SC that he knew both Gda Victory and Judge as they were members of his district force.
Supt Clarke told Mr McCarthy he identified Gda Judge in the film from the colour of his hair and the way he moved, though he could only see the back of his head.
He added in agreement with Mr McCarthy that he had made identification mistakes in his life like most people. Supt Clarke also told Mr McCarthy that gardai didn't know who the organisers were. He said nobody would interact with the gardai or talk to them.
There was an internet site with details about the planned protest, he said.
Gardai were briefed in advance that there would be people present with viedeo cameras.
Insp Connolly told Mr O'Kelly that individual gardai could draw their batons if they felt threatened, but gardai in a group only drew them on instruction. He said he only knew Gda Daly "slightly" at the time as he (witness) had not been at Pearse Street very long.
The hearing continues before Judge Yvonne Murphy.