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Sunday 21 July 2019

'The tall guard in black saved my life - he hit his knee instead of my head'

The woman in the viral protest video has spoken out about the incident

Clare Cullen

The woman featured in a viral clip of the protest outside the Mansion House has spoken to Ray D'Arcy about the incident in which she was "flung to the ground".

Fiona Healy, a member of Dublin Says No (to Austerity), told Ray she was "keeping back, staying out of trouble" when she spotted the Taoiseach's car.

'I had just went to cross the road... I thought Enda was gone".

"I heard someone shout Kenny, Kenny, Kenny... I saw him in the car".

"He smiled at me... I saw an opportunity to bang on the bonnet".

"He had that smirky grin on his face".

"There was one guard there to move me on, that was fine. Another guard came over the bonnet... I wasn't pushed. I was flung. He picked me up and flung me".

Despite what circulated on social media yesterday, Healy did not collide with the bollard. She attributes this to one of the gardai in the clip, who she says "hit his knee instead of my head".

"The tall guard in black saved my life... he pushed me out of the way of the bollard".

"I'd like to thank him for that"

"He saved me by pushing my head away from the bollard".

Healy has not visited the doctor yet but is "on (her) way" today.

"I didn't hit my head on the bollard, I hit the curb... on my right hip".

LISTEN HERE: (From 33m)

Healy insists her protest was non-violent.

"I just tapped on the bonnet... non-violent just means not to hurt anyone - you can shout as much as you like. I didn't hurt anyone".

Healy told Ray D'Arcy that she doesn't attend every protest by the group.

"I don't go every Sunday.. travel isn't cheap".

"I'm just a Mam who wants the best for her son. I was forced out of work three years ago because I couldn't afford childcare".

Speaking on other protests, Healy said the gardai "come in with cameras and set us up. They set up stuff for the courts".

While she chats to some of the gardai on protests, she added "There's a few that just take orders... it seems that their backbone is confiscated when they walk into Templemore".

"The guards are inciting a lot. They're very rough with women and children. From my experience, they do not go after the men".

The Gardai have said in a statement that they will facilitate protests that are non-violent, do not constitute a breach of the peace and that allow for the free movement of traffic. Anyone that has a complaint is directed to GSOC.

Healy does plan to make an official complaint over the Gardai's handling of the incident.

"It happened so fast... All I know is that I'm black and blue from it. It shouldn't have happened that way".

Healy is not happy that the footage went viral. "I don't like it... I'm not one for the limelight".

Read more: Outrage on social media as protest footage goes viral

 

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