Gardaí identify Tallon in demonstration footage

A garda accused of assaulting a protester at the 2002 ‘Reclaim the Streets’ protest in Dublin has been identified in video footage of the event by two senior gardaí.

A garda accused of assaulting a protester at the 2002 ‘Reclaim the Streets’ protest in Dublin has been identified in video footage of the event by two senior gardaí.

Garda Paul Tallon of Mountjoy Station, Dublin has pleaded not guilty to assault causing harm to Mr Fergal Leddy on May 6, 2002. It was day five of the trial at Dublin Circuit Criminal Court.

Detective Inspector Walter O’Sullivan and Inspector Con O’Halloran told prosecuting counsel Mr Thomas O’Connell SC (with Mr Bernard Condon BL) they could see Garda Tallon in one of the video frames holding what appeared to be a baton in his right hand.

Inspector O’Halloran, who was stationed at Fitzgibbon Street Garda station at the time, said he also identified the accused in a later frame in which he appeared "slightly stooped" with a person on the ground in front of him.

Det Insp O’Sullivan told Mr O’Connell that he had worked at Mountjoy station where Garda Tallon had been attached to the crime prevention unit and he could see him in one of the video frames apparently in plain clothes and carrying what appeared to be a baton in his hand.

He also identified him in a later frame as being slightly crouched and standing beside a taxi.

Det Inspector O’Sullivan agreed with defence counsel Mr Martin Giblin SC (with Mr Breffni Gordon BL) that he had not said in either of his statements about the event that Garda Tallon had assaulted someone.

He also agreed that public order was a growing issue in Dublin and that uniformed and plain clothed gardai are issued with batons to be drawn "at a time of danger when a measure of protection is required".

He agreed with Mr Giblin he recognised the position that Garda Tallon was standing in as a "defensive posture".

The trial continues before Judge Yvonne Murphy and a jury of six men and six women.

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