Garda strikes elderly man at Nama auction protest
A MEMBER of An Garda Siochána has been filmed striking an elderly man with a baton during a protest at a NAMA property auction.
Protestors argued with gardaí at the auction at the Ashdown Park Hotel in Gorey, Co Wexford.
The video, filmed by journalist John Rooney, shows a garda in the process of arresting a man over allegations of assault.
It is understood an employee of the auctioneers made a complaint of being assaulted when protesters moved in to disrupt the sale.
The man refuses to give his name, as he insists that the garda quote the specific act and section he is being charged under.
There is a scuffle when the garda takes hold of the protestor's arm and tells him he is being placed under arrest.
Amid shouts from the protestors of “illegal arrest” and “arrest one, arrest all” an elderly man holding a stick can be seen on the floor, struggling with another garda.
The man is later seen being helped to his feet and led away by other protestors.
Towards the end of the video, the arresting garda is seen surrounded by protestors, chanting “peaceful protest.”
The garda then draws his baton and strikes an elderly man standing behind him on the head, causing him to fall to the ground.
A Garda spokesman confirmed a man aged in his 30s was arrested during a public order incident at the hotel in Gorey on Thursday.
He was detained at Enniscorthy Garda station and later released. A file is being prepared for the Director of Public Prosecutions.
The Garda Ombudsman Commission (GSOC) have opened an investigation into the incident.
In a statement GSOC said that “the public interest is best served by an independent investigation of this matter.”
“GSOC is appealing for anyone who may have been present and witnessed the alleged incident, or anyone with information which may assist the investigation to contact them on 1890 600 800.”
The video, posted to the Facebook page of 'An Spréach: Housing Action Collective' contains scenes of violence and strong language.