Maman Poulet | Clucking away crookedly through media, politics and life

What you didn’t read in the national papers

November 2nd, 2009 · 1 Comment · Irish Media, Personal

The weekly ritual that is the reading out of ‘interesting’ bits of the paper from home took place in the henhouse yesterday. Given that my partner is from Donegal it is the Donegal News that she tries to entertain me with.

After a few pages of court reports involving scraps, using false driving licences bought on the internet and making away without paying for petrol etc., I paid attention when I heard the words ‘Charges dismissed after garda admits ‘kneeing defendant in ribs.’

Three brothers from Letterkenny have had public order charges against them dismissed after a garda admitted kneeing one of them in the ribs during his arrest. The charges were dropped at Letterkenny District Court before two members of the public, who were due to give evidence about concerns relating to garda conduct, were able to do so.

The court also heard that CCTV footage fo the arrest had not been obtained by gardai despite a written request from the defence solicitor three days after the incident.

…The court heard allegations from defence solicitor Frank Dorrian that members of the public saw gardaí knee Connell Ferry in the ribs, hold him to the ground placing a knee on the back of his neck and kick him while he was on the ground. Mr Dorrian also levelled criticism at the Gardaí for jumping to the wrong conlusion without making proper inquiries and for failing to obtain CCTV from the premises that would have clearly showed the incident.

Giving evidence Garda Ian Oates admitted under cross-examination that he had kneed Connell Ferry in the ribs during a struggle in which the defendant had grabbed him by the testicles.

The case was adjourned shortly after Garda Ian Oates admitted kneeing Gerry in the ribs and when the case resumed Inspector Denis Joyce dropped the charges.

The incident that the three were charged with took place on January 24 of this year. Gardai intervened in what they said was a row between a couple, however the brothers asserted that they were out alone and that a woman began shouting at one of them after being told by one of them that the Abrakebabra was closed. The brother refused an adult caution and reinforcements were called in.

There were two members of the public in court, both who had remonstrated at the manner of the arrest and one of whom had took independent legal advice and made a statement to the Gardai protesting the manner of the arrest. Both were willing to give evidence on behalf of the defence.

Three Gardai (McKenna, Mulvihill, Morrison) gave evidence saying they did not see Mr. Ferry getting kneed in the ribs before Garda Oates made his admission under defence questioning.

The very extensive report in the Donegal News contains full coverage of the case, the failed and delayed attempts to get the CCTV coverage, and the fact that two members of the public (unconnected to the defendants) complained to the Gardai about the treatment of the defendants by the Gardai shortly after the incident had taken place.

I cannot find a link to the case report in any other media source and am not aware of it being on RTE. I assume it was reported on Highland Radio? If I cannot find it reported elsewhere to link to in the next week I’ll transcribe more of the report as it makes for interesting reading regarding the manner of the arrest and subsequent investigation.

One wonders how the case ever came to be heard at all. And what investigation will now take place?

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