(The hitting takes place in the last 20 seconds of the video)
Fury has erupted over video footage that depicts a member of An Garda Síochána hitting a man across the head with a baton.
The video was posted by An Spréach, an anti-capitalist housing group that was staging what it describes as a peaceful protest at a NAMA auction that was due to take place in Gorey’s Ashdown Park Hotel. The auction was to see 32 houses & 16 acres of land auctioned off for about €850,000.
According to An Spréach’s Facebook page, as many as 50 protesters “liberated” (the quotes are theirs, not ours) the original auction room by dismantling the seating, and ultimately succeeded in preventing the auction from taking place.
The video, which is just under 4 minutes in length, shows the Garda attempting to detain a protester, claiming he has been accused of assault. When asked to quote the section under which the man is being detained, the Garda responds that he is detaining the man under Section 2 of the Non-Fatal Offences Against the Person Act (1997), but refuses to quote the section in full.
The video has already been viewed almost 100,000 times since it was posted in the early hours of this morning (13/11/2015). The Garda is clearly identifiable in the video, so the story should be expected to develop in the coming days. No statement has been given by Gardaí officials as of yet.
Below is an extract of An Spréach’s description of its agenda as a group:
An Spréach, meaning The Spark, is a small housing action group formed due to the housing crisis in Dublin and beyond. We aim to use and develop tactics to highlight the appalling housing situation faced by many ordinary people throughout Ireland. We seek, through the use of direct action, to liberate vacant housing as a campaigning method and as a means of providing accommodation for those in need.