“It would be a question of the utmost public concern if an undercover officer were effectively permitted to operate without justification, authorisation or oversight in Ireland.”
THE GARDA OMBUDSMAN will tomorrow publish its final report into recorded comments by gardaí about two female protesters who were arrested at the Corrib gas project last year.
A spokesperson for the Garda Síochána Ombudsman Commission (GSOC) confirmed this morning that the report will be released tomorrow afternoon at around lunchtime. Interested parties will receive the report a few hours before publication.
The investigation was undertaken over a year ago after a tape was released in which several gardaí joked about threatening to rape and deport one of the two women arrested for public order offences near the controversial Corrib gas project in Mayo on 31 March 2011.
An interim report last October confirmed that the recording on a video camera took place when give gardaí were travelling in a vehicle separate to the two arrested protesters. It exonerated three of the five gardaí and found no evidence of a criminal offence against any of them.
The final report will deal with disciplinary issues against two of the garda, one of whom has since retired.
The investigation has been criticised by several academics at the National University of Ireland (NUIM) who have claimed that one of the two female protesters, Jerrie Anne Sullivan, was portrayed as “the perpetrator, rather than the victim” in the investigation and interim report.
Last December, RTÉ had to make an on-air clarification about its coverage of part of the claims following a ruling by the Broadcasting Authority of Ireland on foot of a complaint by Sullivan.
The BAI said that RTÉ’s coverage of the deletion of files on the camcorder that recorded the controversial audio – which Sullivan claims were unrelated to the recording of the arrests and subsequent garda remarks - caused Sullivan “undue distress and harm”.