Sullivan: GSOC 'rape tape' investigation has been 'about protecting An Garda Siochána'

The Garda Siochána Ombudsman Commission (GSOC) investigation into the Corrib Garda 'rape' recording incident has, from the start, been "about protecting An Garda Síochána", according to Jerrie Ann Sullivan, one of the women who made the recording public.

Yesterday’s report from GSOC has recommended disciplinary action against one of the Gardaí investigated over taped remarks about raping two female Corrib gas protesters last year. The Garda Commissioner will decide whether or not to implement the recommendation. Another Garda, Sergeant James Gill, “may [have] a disciplinary case to answer”, according to the report, but as he retired from the Gardaí in March 2012 he is not subject to disciplinary proceedings. During the history of the Corrib Gas project, no Garda has ever been disciplined over policing of the protests.

Responding to the report’s publication, Jerrie Ann Sullivan said: "I'm not at all surprised at today's news, considering how An Garda Síochána, the Garda Ombudsman and Alan Shatter have handled this incident and the Corrib project generally. No Garda has ever been disciplined over policing of Corrib, as Corrib Gardaí are politically protected.

"With a police force under the direct control of government ministers, this report is predictable – just as it was predictable from the start that the Ombudsman investigation would protect the Gardaí. This is the same reason that people campaigning against Corrib have stopped making official complaints about Gardaí.

"The narrow scope of the report does nothing to address the real reasons that Gardaí felt free to talk flippantly about raping campaigners. Possible minor discipline for any one officer is not an appropriate response to the Corrib policing culture of violence and disrespect that has been institutionalised by the State as a whole. This culture has been established and nurtured by politicians who have publicly sanctioned the use of violent force against the community affected by the Corrib gas project.

"We need a culture in Ireland where people - including whistleblowers within the Gardaí - can bring matters to public attention without fear. The aggressive reactions of the Gardaí and the Ombudsman after I brought this incident to light were very troubling for me, my family and my academic supervisors, all of which my lecturers and I have set out in a briefing document explaining our concerns.

"While this incident is over, people living the area continue to face the same dangerous, state-sanctioned police culture which it spotlighted, as described in a seven-page complaint issued last month by 112 local residents about how the Corrib project is affecting daily life in North West Mayo."

Caoimhe Kerins of Dublin Shell to Sea said: "The Garda Ombudsman's investigation and report sends out several messages: firstly, that it is acceptable for serving Gardaí to joke about raping people in their custody. Also, the treatment of those who brought the recording to public attention sends out the message that people who criticise or embarrass An Garda Síochána can expect repercussions, not only from Gardaí but also from the very body tasked with being an independent watchdog." {jathumbnailoff}

Below, a transcript of the recording contained in the report; and below that, the full report.

Sgt. A “Who is them two lassies  – do you know the two of them?”

Garda B “I don’t know the second one, the first one is (refers to Ms. A) with blonde hair”.

Garda C “She was up on the tractor earlier on”.

Sgt. A “It’d do no harm to get the second one’s name again”.

Garda B “She’s some Yank. I don’t know who the fuck she is”.

Garda C “Is she a Yank?”

Garda B “It sounds like it, it sounds like it, the accent anyway”.

Garda D “Sounds like a Yank or Canadian”.

Garda B “Well whoever, we’ll get Immigration fucking on her”.

Sgt. A “She refused to give her name and address and told she would be arrested”.

Garda B “And deported”.

Sgt. A “And raped”.

Garda B “I wouldn’t go that far yet, she was living down at that crusty camp, fuck’s sake, you never know what you might get”.


Sgt. A “Give me your name and address or I’ll rape you”.

Garda C “Hold it there, give me your name and address, there, I’ll Facebook you”.


Sgt. A “Or I’ll definitely rape you”.

Garda C “Will you be me friend on Facebook?”

GSCO Corrib 'Rape Tape' Final Report


Image top: infomatique.