Gardaí investigating use of a Garda uniform in St. Patrick’s Day parade in Kerry
A float in support of Garda whistleblower Maurice McCabe featured in the St. Patrick’s Day parade in Castleisland.
Gardaí in Tralee are investigating the use of a Garda uniform in a float that featured in the St. Patrick’s Day parade in the town of Castleisland in Kerry.
According to Radio Kerry, Gardaí are investigating a float featuring a mannequin decked out in a Garda uniform hanging from a clothesline that appeared in the parade on Saturday.
The mannequin included an image of McCabe on its head while a sign reading ‘The Special Branch Men Hang Sergeant McCabe Out To Dry’ also featured in the float.
A picture of the float can be seen on the Radio Kerry website here.
Radio Kerry reports that the float was the brainchild of a man named Dan Lynch, who wouldn’t reveal where he obtained the Garda hat and jacket from but said that he had borrowed Garda uniform for use in the parade in the past and that it hadn’t been an issue.
Mr. Lynch said that four Gardaí called to his house in relation to the matter 20 minutes after the parade had taken place.
Under Section 61 of the Garda Síochána Act, 2005, a person is guilty of an offence if he or she, not being a member of the Garda Síochána -
(a) has in his or her possession any article of Garda uniform or any equipment supplied to a member of the Garda Síochána and is not able satisfactorily to account for possessing it.
A person guilty of an offence under this section is liable -
(a) on summary conviction, to a fine not exceeding €3,000 or imprisonment for a term not exceeding 12 months or both, or
(b) on conviction on indictment, to a fine not exceeding €50,000 or imprisonment for a term not exceeding 5 years or both.
The Section also states that nothing prevents the wearing of any uniform or dress in –
(a) a performance in a theatre, on film or on television or other media, or
(b) with the prior approval of the Garda Commissioner, a public place in the course of making a film, television or other media production.
When asked for a statement on Tuesday, a spokesperson for the Garda Press Office told JOE that the relevant district had been contacted for a response on the matter and that it would revert back in due course.