Waterford Gardai convicted of assault

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 Three Gardai have been convicted in Waterford in the case of a man set upon and assaulted in the city centre. Anthony Holness was taking a piss in New street when he was set upon by the Gardai who beat him and arrested him. Garda Daniel Hickey and Sgt Martha McEnery were both convicted of assault whilst Garda John Burke was convicted of intending to pervert the course of justice, in his case by moving away the cctv cameras from recording the scene.

The case provides a useful insight into the nature of policing in many Irish cities and towns. Most occurances like this of course never reach the courts, or if they do it is the unfortunate victim who is usually in the dock. The abuse of the CCTV is particularly ironic give how so many politicians proclaimed it would make the streets safer, and how civil libertarians were dismissed for their criticisms as being anti police.

Of course the behaviour of the Gardai was standard operating procedure, it is just that in this case they came up against someone prepared to pursue the matter and with the good fortune to get access to the footage that aided his case, and a good solicitor.

Don't expect any outcry from the political class though, about out of control gardai, or the culture of criminality within the Gardai.  The state leans heavily on the Gardai to make their writ run through the land, just ask the people of Rossport or the Thomas Cook workers.

WORDS: James McBarron

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