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Castlebar racial incident

News
UTube Castlebar footage
YOU TUBE FOOTAGE The picture shows a group chasing what appears to be a group of foreign nationals on Main Street, Castlebar.

Castlebar racial incident

Michael Duffy

CASTLEBAR Superintendent John Quirke has said that incidents of foreign nationals being verbally or physically abused are not rife in Castlebar – despite the presence on internet site www.youtube.com of what looks like a disturbing incident on the Main Street of the county town.
The video footage, which is entitled ‘Castlebar going to beat foreign nationals’, is over a minute long and shows a group of approximately ten men marching up Main Street pursuing two other individuals. The footage, which has been viewed 300 times and was posted on March 1 last, also has a tagline, ‘typical Saturday night in Castlebar after the disco’. The footage does not clearly show any assault but some of ‘the mob’ run at the other individuals and can be heard shouting to ‘horse into him’.
After viewing the footage, The Mayo News contacted Supt Quirke to see if any incident of this nature had been reported on a Saturday night previous to March 1, but he confirmed there had been no reports of such an incident.
“No one reported any racially-motivated incident to us in recent times. In fact, the last racially-motivated incident reported at this station was back in November, where a number of foreign nationals had their tyres slashed, but that matter was successfully investigated.”
Supt Quirke said he could not comment on the video footage in question as he had not seen it but added that at the moment gardaí were reluctant to investigate footage on websites due to the fact that it would be very hard for matters to be proven in a court of law.
“It would be very difficult to use such material in court due to the quality and due to the fact that a lot of this footage can be staged. I would hope that if foreign nationals have ever been subjected to this type of abuse that they would report it to the Gardaí.”
Supt Quirke said he believes that incidents like the one on YouTube are not the norm in Castlebar.
“It has been estimated in recent times that upwards of 2,500 foreign nationals could now be living in the surrounding area of the town and we would expect that there would have been a number of reports to us if there was a real problem in relation to intimidation.”
Supt Quirke added that the huge increase in the popularity of websites like YouTube and Bebo had meant that prank calls had increased. Both Westport and Castlebar Garda Station received national media coverage recently when a prank phone call between the stations was recorded and aired on national radio.
“There has also been an increased in the number of 999 calls made in recent weeks and while young people may think this is funny, the reality is if a fire engine has been called out to a false alarm and then misses a call to a real incident, there can be dire consequences. People who make these calls are open to prosecution if they can be traced,” concluded Supt Quirke.