The Elephant in the Atlantic

It’s a toss-up as to whether the transcript or the audio recording of the Belmullet Garda Station incident is the more ghastly. Ghastlier still, however, has been the reaction elicited from the media and certain elements of the public at large.

Let us be clear about the content of the recording. It involves a group of Gardaí Síochána broaching, elucidating upon and deriving considerable amusement from the prospect of sexually violating a female in their custody for corrective purposes, in a remote part of the country where the rights nominally accorded citizens are already in effective abeyance.

If that strikes you as a keeper for the Boys Will Be Boys album, then all I can say is that you’ve got the police force you deserve. Note also the vulgar disparagement of the woman in question, and the pejorative reference to her possibly foreign provenance, both frequently identified factors in the psychology and methodology of rape.

If you walked into a staff-room and overheard a group of teachers discussing the notion of physically abusing your son or daughter to general merriment, exactly how inclined would you be to airily disregard it as a spot of confraternal hijinks?

The response of much of our national media to this development has been an outright scandal. This is how RTÉ are headlining their take on the story, the facts of which are fairly unambiguous:


…which leads one to ponder what further circomlocutory evasions they might have employed throughout the ages…


RTÉ’s approach, of course, suggests that the fetid morals of Belmullet Garda Station are consistent throughout our ruling class, but it also suggests something equally troubling.

For if the story is to be scrutinised in any detail, the question of why these women were in Mayo, why they were arrested, how the conduct of the Gardaí tallies with a long-established pattern of behaviour in this operation, and at whose behest this operation functions, would be impossible to avoid. And that, more than all other manifestations of political dissidence in contemporary Ireland, is a forbidden topic. Far better to obfuscate, evade and dissemble, even if it means buttressing attitudes which devastate hundreds of Irish lives annually.


4 Responses to “The Elephant in the Atlantic”

  1. CMK Says:

    Excellent post. RTE obviously made an editorial decision to report these remarks in a manner most favourable to the Gardaí. Any journalist who regards a threat to rape a woman as merely ‘suggestive’ (which is how RTE described the remarks in several reports yesterday) needs to consider the possibility that they may be in the wrong business, as well as reflecting on their personal interpretation of what constitutes sexual violence.

    We’re getting closer, everyday, to when the Gardaí either kill or seriously injure one or more protesters. This comment is just one more link in a chain that goes back to Mayday 2002, Corrib over the years and the recent student protests. There is a proforma media endorsement for rough treatment of any left wing protests, so there won’t be too much bother if a protester is hurt. The kinds of sentiments expressed by these Gardaí are neither atypical or unusual. What is atypical or unusual is that they were caught on camera. Expect the future diligent erasure of all footage on confiscated cameras.

  2. sciaccaterra Says:

    Well done, the visual element really illustrates the point. Have posted it to Facebook. The apathetic majority might not view however.

  3. Sgt James Gill – Suckin Diesel or Taking The Piss? | Soundmigration Says:

    […] You couldnt make it up. But one only has to refer to the press release issued by the garda press office as they tried to squash the rape tape story one month ago today.  The statement said they where investigating “alleged derogatory remarks against women”. Thats shows a pretty incisive understanding of power, rape and violence there boys in blue. The best comment ive seen on this is here […]

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