Trainee garda suspended in probe
A GARDA probationer has been suspended from the force after an incident in which he allegedly indecently assaulted a female university student.
The incident is currently under investigation by the Garda Siochana Ombudsman Commission.
The probationer -- a garda who is not yet a fully fledged member of the force -- was arrested by officers from Galway after they received a complaint from two students that they had been pursued by a young man, who got out of a car, near the local university.
Gardai were quickly on the scene and detained the suspect shortly afterwards. He was held for questioning under the Public Order Act.
The two girls later made detailed statements to gardai in which they said one of them had been indecently assaulted.
The incident took place on Tuesday of last week and the probationer, who was based elsewhere, was suspended from the force by Commissioner Fachtna Murphy after inquiries got under way.
The Garda authorities referred the incident for investigation later that night to the Garda Siochana Ombudsman Commission.
A spokesman for the commission confirmed last night that they had received a referral of the complaint and an investigation was under way.
A team of investigators from the commission has travelled to Galway and is working closely with the Garda authorities.
Gardai said last night there was no evidence to link the Galway incident to a spate of five sexual assaults in Athlone in 2007 and 2008.
The ombudsman commission said its personnel were investigating the incident and, like all investigations, they would follow wherever the evidence led.