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'Gardai' car-surf pic was footballers' stunt

A PHOTO apparently showing gardai 'car surfing' was posed as a harmless bit of fun.

The picture circulated on social media sites and led to demands on RTE's Liveline that disciplinary action be taken against the 'gardai'.

It seemed to show four officers engaged in car surfing -- hanging out the windows of a garda patrol car -- a dangerous activity which would lead to prosecution if regular drivers were caught by gardai.

But it has emerged that the 'gardai' were members of the Galway women's minor football team, who were on their way home after winning the All-Ireland Championship in the summer of 2010.

The footballers spotted bonfire celebrations as they passed through Newbridge, near the Roscommon border on their bus journey home.

The bus stopped and the girls got out to talk to the locals.

They were given permission to pose for a photograph inside a stationary garda car.

The photo had sparked outrage among social network users and called to Joe Duffy's Liveline. But some suggested straight away that the picture was a fake.

Users questioned how the driver could be driving the car while 'surfing' at the same time.

The Garda Press Office had confirmed that Garda authorities were inquiring into all the circumstances.