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MEP in Corrib demo ‘punched in the head’

Keith Bourke - Western People

SOCIALIST Party MEP Paul Murphy says he will lodge a complaint with An Garda Síochána over his treatment at a Corrib gas protest.

Mr Murphy alleges he was assaulted by gardaí as he took part in a sit-down protest on a public road close to the Corrib gas compound at Aughoose last Wednesday.

“I was punched in the head, I had my pressure point targeted – in that my ear was deliberately twisted to a point of excruciating pain – and my stomach was repeatedly poked and prodded at very sensitive points,” Mr Murphy said.

The MEP claimed he heard gardaí directing each other to go for the pressure points as they removed up to 20 people involved in a demonstration.

A Garda spokesman said protesters had been asked repeatedly to move from the public road, where they were causing an obstruction and were then removed by gardaí.

A man in his 40s, who was on top of a truck for around two hours, was arrested and charged with a public order offence. He is due to appear before Belmullet District Court on September 14 next.

Mr Murphy said the incident arose when he and up to 20 others staged a peaceful sit-down around a truck which had halted on the road after a protester boarded the truck and sat on top of it. Gardaí brought a teleporter to remove the protester.

Mr Murphy says he may take the issue further, and will make a statement to the Amnesty International-FrontLine human rights observer who has been assigned to monitor the response to demonstrations at the Corrib gas project.

Meanwhile, on Friday morning three female protesters locked themselves on to piping at Aughoose. It took over two hours to remove the women who are in their 20s and not from the locality.

All three were arrested and charged with public order offences. They will also appear before Belmullet District Court on September 14 next.

Posted Date: 
1 September 2011