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Ireland Garda 'came forward' to strike RTÉ cameraman, reporter O'Sullivan tells assault trial

07:50  11 december  2019
07:50  11 december  2019 Source:   independent.ie

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An RTÉ reporter has told the trial of garda accused of assaulting a camera man during street protests that the defendant came forward from Mr O ’ Sullivan said his job is to be the camera - man ’s eyes and to alert him to hazards. He said they went to a confrontation between gardaí­ and protesters

An RTÉ reporter has told the trial of a garda accused of assaulting a camera man during street protests that the defendant came forward from a line of The baton hit the camera quite close to my head,” Mr O ' Sullivan said. He said he immediately pulled the cameraman away from the garda line.

a man wearing a suit and tie: RTÉ cameraman Colm Hand was hit by garda, court hears. Picture: Collins © COLLINS PHOTO AGENCY RTÉ cameraman Colm Hand was hit by garda, court hears. Picture: Collins

An RTÉ reporter has told a trial a garda "advanced out of line" and struck a cameraman during street protests.

Garda Sean Lucey (42) was detailed to a public order unit to deal with confrontations between anti-racism protesters and supporters of a "far-right group".

Gardaí were trying to prevent protesters from getting to one another.

Gda Lucey (42) has pleaded not guilty to one count of assault causing harm to Colm Hand at Cathedral Street in Dublin city centre on February 6, 2016, and to damaging his camera.

Mr Lucey, from south Dublin, has been stationed at Crumlin Village and Sundrive Road garda stations.

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A garda has gone on trial charged with assaulting an RTÉ cameraman and causing damage to his She said Mr Hand and the reporter , Colman O ' Sullivan , made a certain decision as a result. Ms McGowan told the jurors she anticipated this was a case in which they would have to consider the

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Colman O'Sullivan, a reporter with RTÉ, said he and Mr Hand were reporting on a demonstration by a "far-right group" and a counter-demonstration by "anti-racist" groups.

The jury heard a cameraman is vulnerable in these situations because he has one eye in the camera eyepiece and the other closed to focus.

Mr O'Sullivan said his job is to be the cameraman's eyes and to alert him to hazards. He said the atmosphere was very tense on Cathedral Street.

"They (gardaí) were indicating they wanted people to move back," said Mr O'Sullivan.

"At that stage we were retreating already. I said to gardaí, 'We're press and we're getting out of your way'."

He said he and Mr Hand were moving across the Garda line to get out of the confrontation area.

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An RTÉ cameraman has told the trial of a garda charged with assaulting him that he suffered bruising after being struck in the groin with a baton. Mr Hand told Fiona McGowan BL, prosecuting, that he was working with reporter Colman O ’ Sullivan on the day and they were to cover anti-racism

"A garda advanced out of line and hit Colm's camera. I was very close to Colm. The baton hit the camera quite close to my head," Mr O'Sullivan said.

He said he immediately pulled the cameraman away from the Garda line.

Mr Hand turned and said: "Don't hit the f**king camera, you can't hit cameras."

He said the garda who had struck the camera then struck Mr Hand in the groin area.

"He was in advance of his colleagues and he came forward to strike Colm," he said.

Under cross-examination, he told James Dwyer SC, defending, he said that neither he nor Mr Hand had RTÉ logos or "press" logos on their clothes or on the camera.

The trial continues before Judge Melanie Greally and a jury.

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