"This is one of the most important stories of it's kind in Europe."
A TOTAL of 111 official complaints have been made against gardai manning the controversial Corrib gas site, but no garda has ever faced a criminal prosecution.
The Garda Siochana Ombudsman Commission (GSOC) confirmed yesterday that it had received a huge number of complaints since work began on the site in 2007.
Seven of these resulted in files being sent to the Director of Public Prosecutions, who decided that the gardai involved should not be prosecuted.
The seven files contained allegations of assault and maltreatment by gardai, including abuses of authority and discourtesy.
Separately, gardai in north Mayo have said that no complaint has been received following an allegation that a garda punched a woman in the stomach during a protest outside a Shell compound on Tuesday.
The Shell to Sea group claimed that the woman had to seek medical attention following the incident outside the gate of the compound at Aughoose.
Superintendent Pat Diskin of Belmullet garda station said yesterday he had received no complaint of any such incident.
He said: "I can confirm that gardai attended a minor incident and dealt with the matter.
"There were no arrests and I have received no complaints or report of any incident as described."
- Dearbhail McDonald and Brian McDonald