News Irish News

Thursday 17 October 2019

Man claims he was kicked out of the gardaí 'for being gay'

Chaperones: Gardaí escort illegal immigrants when expelled. Stock photo
Chaperones: Gardaí escort illegal immigrants when expelled. Stock photo

Callum Lavery

A man has claimed that he is owed an apology after he was allegedly kicked out of the Gardaí in the 80s for being gay.

Speaking on RTE Radio 1's Liveline with Joe Duffy the anonymous man, known only as 'Matthew', claimed he was kicked out of the Gardaí for being gay following the murder of Charles Self in 1982.

Charles Self was a gay man from England who was brutally attacked and murdered in Monkstown, Co. Dublin in 1982.

Matthew claimed that after Mr Self's death, a "gay witch hunt" took place within the Gardaí he alleged that he was called for questioning because he knew Mr Self in passing.

"After his murder, I was directed to go down to Dublin Castle and present myself before a superintendent.

"I didn’t really have an idea of what it was going to be about because, while I was in the force I wasn’t openly gay.  I wasn’t on the scene, I didn’t do the pubs, I didn’t do anything like that.

"When I went into the office I remember a very icy-stone atmosphere and I was told I was being investigated for conduct that would bring discredit on the force.

"It was quite brief, but it was an intimidating atmosphere for me, I was 22 years of age and I was worried about my future and my job that I absolutely loved."

Matthew claimed he was later directed to appear at Pearse Street Garda Station where we was interviewed, photographed and fingerprinted again after this meeting, two senior officer came into his work and told him to leave the station.

"It was much more intimidating, there was a witch hunt against gay men conducted to try and solve that murder which they never solved.

"In June 1982, a sergeant and an inspector came into the room and ordered me out of the room. My colleagues were shocked.

"I was given 10 minutes to strip and get out of the station, no reason, nothing.

"I was like a rabbit caught in the headlights, I came home and the following day the local gardaí came and removed any further items of garda property."

Mathew claimed that for the next five to ten years he hit "rock bottom",  he was unable to get a job and still coming to terms with leaving the gardaí. To this day, his parents think he left on his own accord. 

He said he has tried to get his hands on his full personal file to understand why he was forced out of the Gardaí  and has asked for a meeting with the Garda Commissioner and Minister for Justice, but said he has been met with silence. 

Mathew said he finds it ironic that on Saturday 29th June, the Dublin Pride Parade will have two squad cars with the Pride flag driving in the parade.

"I look on Twitter and at the Pride march they are going to have two cars decked in pride colours, when it’s only 35 years ago that I was treated like a paria.

"They have a lot to answer for, there are an awful lot of questions out there that are unanswered I am quite sure I am not the only ex member that was treated in a similar fashion," he claimed.

"Two cars in the pride parade, it’s a charade, it’s window dressing."

Gardaí were unable to provide comment on Matthew's claims at time of writing, however.

On the LGBT Pride Parade, The Garda Commissioner Drew Harris said at the GRA conference: “As the GRA has rightly pointed out, it is essential that An Garda Síochána reflects the diverse society we serve.

"That is why our uniform policy has been amended to allow the wearing of the hijab or turban as an item of Garda uniform. And this year An Garda Síochána will take part in Gay Pride in uniform.’

"An Garda Síochána was delighted to be invited to take in the Dublin Pride Parade and we are looking forward to participating.

Online Editors

Editor's Choice

Also in Irish News