Gardaí ‘taking total piss out of’ caller on YouTube video

THE GARDA Ombudsman Commission is investigating internet video footage of officers apparently making fun of a man seeking help.

The force’s official watchdog stressed it was treating very seriously the online broadcast posted to the You Tube website of what appears to be garda officer mocking a member of the public, from Kingscourt, Co Cavan, who telephoned the garda station looking for the sergeant.

“It would be foolish to treat this as a hoax. We are taking it seriously,” said the Ombudsman’s Head of Communications and Research, Kieran FitzGerald.

“There’s enough there to warrant an investigation so we will have a look at it in that sense.”

The video was posted just a day before Army chiefs revealed they were investigating mock web footage of Irish troops firing on civilians in Liberia, also posted to YouTube.

The Garda recording was uploaded to the ‘entertainment’ category of the popular video-sharing website used by millions worldwide last Thursday by a user with the alias LucidLJ.

A description reads: “Local man [his name], seems quite furious at the guards taking the total piss out of him. Enjoy!”

The face of a laughing uniformed garda officer on the telephone is clearly visible while another female officer in the room is also shown before she blocks her face with her hand.

A garda number on the shoulder of one officer is also identifiable in the 4½-minute recording, which was brought to the attention of the Ombudsman by a member of the public yesterday.

Meanwhile, at least three Irish soldiers are facing possible misconduct charges arising from the mock footage from Liberia.

Military police are continuing to question the peacekeeping soldiers believed to have been behind the video.

The timing was hugely embarrassing for the force as it had just ended its widely-lauded three-and-a-half-year mission in the war-torn African country.

Under Irish military law, it is an offence to broadcast a video without clearing from the Defence Forces.

Those involved face anything from a fine to detention or even dismissal.

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