Rape Tape Investigation Flawed – Jerrie Ann Sullivan


NUI Maynooth postgraduate student Jerrie Ann Sullivan was one of two women arrested during a Shell-To-Sea protest in Mayo when Gardai were recorded joking about raping and deporting one of the women.

She said this afternoon (via Dublin Shell to Sea):

“I’m not at all surprised at today’s news, considering how An Garda Síochána, the Garda Ombudsman and Alan Shatter have handled this incident and the Corrib project generally. No Garda has ever been disciplined over policing of Corrib, as Corrib Gardaí are politically protected.”

“With a police force under the direct control of government ministers, this report is predictable – just as it was predictable from the start that the Ombudsman investigation would protect the Gardaí. This is the same reason that people campaigning against Corrib have stopped making official complaints about Gardaí.

“The narrow scope of today’s report does nothing to address the real reasons that Gardaí felt free to talk flippantly about raping campaigners. Possible minor discipline for any one officer is not an appropriate response to the Corrib policing culture of violence and disrespect that has been institutionalised by the State as a whole. This culture has been established and nurtured by politicians who have publicly sanctioned the use of violent force against the community affected by the Corrib gas project.

“We need a culture in Ireland where people – including whistleblowers within the Gardaí – can bring matters to public attention without fear. The aggressive reactions of the Gardaí and the Ombudsman after I brought this incident to light were very troubling for me, my family and my academic supervisors, all of which my lecturers and I have set out in a briefing document explaining our concerns.” (See here

“While this incident is over, people living the area continue to face the same dangerous, state-sanctioned police culture which it spotlighted, as described in a seven-page complaint issued last month by 112 local residents about how the Corrib project is affecting daily life in North West Mayo (see here).

Shell to Sea Protest: Disciplinary action Against One Garda Over ‘Rape tape’ Comments (Brian Hutton, Irish Independent)

‘Rape Tape’ Report Recommends Garda Be Disciplined (Clare Moynihan, Mayo News)

(Laura Hutton/Photocall Ireland)

58 thoughts on “Rape Tape Investigation Flawed – Jerrie Ann Sullivan

  1. Tommy

    “state-sanctioned police culture”

    She must prefer the non state-sanctioned police culture.

    1. Vigo

      Yes, she would prefer a non state-sanctioned police culture of violence. Which is what she’s talking about. Sure- I could just pick random words out of your sentence and make you look foolish because they wouldn’t make sense! But I won’t, because that would be silly.

      1. brenb

        The state is governed by laws which are policed by ags. What she is saying makes no sense, the state by its definition sanctions the policing of its laws. The state does not sanction ags to break the law. Silly broadsheet readers.

  2. Kolmo

    There will be a tribunal in 10 years time to investigate the whole corrib project – it stinks, so bad – a lot of well placed individuals are making sure the protesters are demonised. stinks.

    1. orieldude

      Are they going to include how Ray Burke knew in 1987 what no geologist would know for another 8 years, namely that the gas was there?

      They’re demonised because they are proven liars and fantasists.

  3. Sido

    Guards were secretly taped making rude comments about the wimmin they had just arrested.
    Shock horror!
    In another reality guards announce themselves delighted with their new pepper spray that they have just used in Galway.

  4. Conor

    I don’t think I’m making light of rape by saying what the hell is the big deal about all of this? 9 in 10 men of these guards ages have made FAAAAAAR worse comments about women when they’re with the lads. It shows they’re normal people, with a distasteful sense of humour yeah, but in a private conversation amongst colleagues/friends where it’s blatantly clear they weren’t seriously considering raping the woman, get a life love.

    1. orieldude

      It doesn’t matter that they weren’t seriously considering it. It is their job to uphold the law and that means maintaining a professional conduct at all times, even in private, even in private among colleagues who are friends.

      Making jokes about one of the most heinous crimes an individual can inflict on another is thoroughly unacceptable behaviour for any police officer and frankly I think it’s about times thick goons like these were bounced out of the force.

      1. Conor

        It’s not against the law to let your hair down behind closed doors, when you’re not facing the public, especially in a stressful job. There’s no evidence it directly interfered with them enforcing the law.

        By your logic to ensure a top notch police force we should CCTV and audio monitor every one of them during their shift time and eliminate otherwise good cops for off the cuff comments in the heat of the moment

        1. Alan

          That sounds like a plan. Let’s try it until they learn to behave themselves.

          Of course guys will be guys (and vice versa) but rape is not, and never should be, a subject to joke about.

          1. Conor

            Have you really never been told an off-colour joke about things as reprehensible as rape, child abuse, war, domestic violence? Very protected life if so. I can’t say every time I’ve seen a Pedobear meme I jumped to the conclusion the author was a child abuser or eligible for some kind of sanction.

            You don’t get to say what people can joke about in private, you may have the right to be offended but no one has the responsibility to care.

          2. cluster

            Their biggest error in my book was not being smart enough to check the camera after taking it. It makes them look like incompetent PC plods or whatever their rural Irish equivalents are.

        2. David

          Why don’t you pop into work tomorrow and make a few big-laugh rape jokes with your male and female colleagues and see how it’s received?

          1. Conor

            Irrelevant, the co-workers didn’t have a problem with it, know your audience. This is about someone who wasn’t in the room hearing a tape that shouldn’t have been recorded of a private bit of dark humour between colleagues.

  5. ffintii

    MY verdict.

    Cops on their own in a car, letting off steam.

    Storm in a teacup. This is human nature ffs.

    You want a Stasi cop force, think about it. Also the decision to over-ride the Army and make a Garda Regional Headquarter in Kickham Barracks was given a gem by rte drivetime today.

    Army Guy (I am paraphrasing).

    Beautiful British army-era occupation base, but needs millions to restore to the first world. Why can’t they use the Templemore (unoccupied at present) but millions spent.

    I wonder what Tipperary South TD caused this?

    1. wtf?!

      So all those saying ‘ah sure it was just a private joke’….how would you feel if a priest was joking about raping your child to another priest. That it was said in the back of the church while the child was under his care? What would you say to that?

      1. ehhbutyeahno

        Now imagine it’s Father Dougal and Father Ted. and they’re laughing while saying it. Oh and your daughter who is over 21 is not in the building.

        1. wtf?!

          so you are comparing this to a fictional televion programme? right ok, we know how well grounded in reality you are.
          shall we try this again? professional capacity +duty of care+joking about rape=wrong!
          in fact, what kind of person actually thinks it’s funny to joke about rape? if you look at the transcript that GSOC released, it’s pretty chilling, actually. joking about rape is just gross.

  6. Hah?

    Jokes about rape are unacceptable. In private, in public: doesn’t matter. “Ah sure they were only messing” is a weakass argument. I expect better of people. Sadly, obviously others don’t.
    The fact that they had no intention of raping the girl doesn’t take away from the fact that joking about it implies you don’t understand the full import of the word. Or don’t care. Both scenarios are, as I said, unacceptable.

  7. Bob

    The BackStory – This wasnt a joke, it was a joke about the two women concerned. Before the camera was recording, when the Guards tried to move them on initially, the ladies screamed at them ‘dont take us, dont bring us down to the station and Rape us’ trying to intimidate the guards.
    All the rest of the guards conversation refers to this ‘insinutation’ of rape as a form of policing.. listen back to the recordings and it’ll make sense.
    Someone would have been disciplined if this was not the case..

    1. wtf?!

      this is not true. Jim Cusack and the Irish Independent had to retract and issue an apology over that very misleading story they published!

        1. Vigo

          No, you’re right, it’s not true. This was bullshit spun to discredit the people involved. Keep up.

  8. ehhbutyeahno

    Seriously joking about rape is wrong as is joking about killing someone. You know how a mother might say “I’m going to kill him when he gets home”, maybe referring to her child you hadn’t cleaned their room. And if that mother was a Guard oh my word, there’s a serial killer in the force, quick lock up your kids, cat, dog and bike, no one is safe!

    1. barry

      The GardaÍ are meant to be a professional police force protecting the citizens of this country.

      Gardai are the people rape victims turn to for help, assistance and guidance. They are the professional frontline workers. The victims putting a lot of trust in to their service.

      Those Gardai comments are hard to defence in that context. This debunks the good work (assumption) a lot of Gardai do for rape victims

  9. ray

    Every week now there is something about Garda corruption.

    What do you expect when all you have to do is scrape a pass in Irish in da Leavin’!

    1. cluster

      This doesn’t fall under corruption. Let us not devalue the word corruption for we have plenty of other opportunities to use it.

  10. builder

    “Bob” your “Back Story” is a crock of sh*t. Those were untrue stories put out by the guards to mitigate their “rape” comments. They are strenuously denied by the two arrestees (and I am told would be completely out of character for either of them to say such things). Even the biased GSOC did not accept these unfounded allegations by some guards who were desperate to get the heat off themselves. Of course the “independent’ keeps running with this lie, but no surprise there. The disgusting thing is that what this story says, and what you are saying is: “they were asking for it”. Sound familiar?

  11. Tony

    Get real, I have a pain in me arse with these tree hungers living off the state and then complaining about everything in the state. They should be spend ending their time working not protesting. Go on shell bring the gas ashore ASAP. By the way what was she studying ?

    1. Vigo

      “tree hungers”

      New form of EXTREME protest? Bob Marley Sands is on the front line! GET A JOB

  12. Full of Ham

    The Guards are just doing their jobs and protecting our natural resources. They are sound lads like – sure did you not see that fella Brendan Gleeson starring in that autobiography of them?

  13. Anne

    “Give me your name and address and I’ll rape ya”
    “really, promise garda.. going above and beyond the call of duty. you’re too good”

    I shouldn’t joke. The way the Guards are treating the locals up there isn’t very funny.

    As she says herself – “The narrow scope of today’s report does nothing to address the real reasons that Gardaí felt free to talk flippantly about raping campaigners. Possible minor discipline for any one officer is not an appropriate response to the Corrib policing culture of violence and disrespect”

    Much bigger issues going on up there than that rape joke.

    1. cluster

      I think what the locals are doing up there isn’t very funny. Shell-to-Sea has been through the whole planning process including appeals, two democratically elected governments (whatever you think of the chancers we seem to continually elect) in a row have declared their support as have the bulk of the Mayo TDs.

      At some point, the Shell-to-Sea protestors need to accept the will of the people or work within legal grounds to change the public’s opinion and/or the law.

      The outside Corrib protestors may be against any oil extraction per se but the locals grievances seemed to be mainly based around ridiculous, alrgely unfounded superstitions such as the pipeline will explode etc.

  14. Andy Moore

    Trolls watch ”The Pipe” & tell me whose interests are they protecting & is it our natural reserves or were they sold out in 1987 by a certain north Dublin dog loving arboreoligist ??

    1. Dave

      Goal posts moving here. I thought the Corrib campaigners were against the very idea of extracting the gas, not the taxation levels applied by the State?

    2. cluster

      Again, the label ‘trolls’ for anyone who holds a different view to your own.

      And The Pipe was interesting but very clearly biased. Even then many of the local agitators do not emerge with a huge amount of dignity.

  15. Owen C

    Guys have smutty senses of humour. We’re quite often childish and immature, particularly when we’re with friends, whether they be purely personal or work-colleagues. We make fart jokes, we make sex jokes, we occasionally descend into rape jokes. Telling jokes about Nazi’s does not make me a holocaust denier or apologist. We dont mean any of it, but its basically how guys behave. None of this should come as a shock to anyone, yet somehow it seems to have in this situation. People trying to highlight this as some sort of gardai “rape is ok” culture are actually at risk of damaging actual rape cases and victims of it.

    1. bangalore

      Not all of us. And especially not all of those whos job includes dealing with reports of rape and the investigation and prosecution there of. Its difficult enough for a victim to approach the guards in these cases, this kinda jokey culture is only going to make it harder

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