GSOC probes alleged garda assault on three young boys

GSOC probes alleged garda assault on three young boys

GSOC confirmed it was a criminal investigation under Section 98 of the act, which bestows full garda powers on GSOC officers. File Picture: Dan Linehan

GSOC is conducting a criminal investigation into an alleged assault on three young boys by three gardaí.

The investigation is at an early stage and it is understood the gardaí concerned have rejected claims any assault took place.

The boys, thought to be aged 12 and 13, made the serious allegation after an incident took place at a golf club in Ballymun, north Dublin, last Friday evening. There were no arrests at the scene.

The incident has been referred under Section 102 of the Garda Síochána Act – which obliges the Garda Commissioner to refer matters to GSOC where they appear to indicate that the conduct of a garda may have resulted in the death of, or serious harm to, a person.

It is understood GSOC is using garda specialist child interviewers to conduct the interviews with the boys. It can take weeks to gather the interviewers together.

The Garda Síochána Ombudsman Commission (GSOC) issued a statement appealing for potential witnesses to the incident.

“The incident involved three youths (males) and three plain clothes garda members at Sillogue Park Golf Club, Ballymun at approximately 17:00 to 18:00 hours on Friday afternoon, August 13," it said.

“A Garda Superintendent referred the matter to GSOC in accordance with section 102 (1) of the Garda Síochána Act, 2005.” 

It said GSOC would like to hear from any potential players who may have witnessed or captured the incident on mobile footage.

GSOC confirmed it was a criminal investigation under Section 98 of the act, which bestows full garda powers on GSOC officers.

It added: "In any investigation, GSOC has regard to the most appropriate method for an interview. For example children and vulnerable persons may need specialist assistance and arrangements for such services are put in place."

The Irish Examiner understands the three gardaí have been questioned and rejected the allegations. It is understood they have claimed there was no physical engagement at all with the teenagers. No arrests were carried out at the scene.

Anyone with information can contact GSOC at 1890 600 800 or info@gsoc.ie.

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