herald

Wednesday 19 December 2018

Garda who filmed tragic blogger Dara to avoid prosecution

Dara Quigley took her own life five days after the video went viral
Dara Quigley took her own life five days after the video went viral

A garda who recorded video footage of a Dublin woman being detained under the Mental Health Act while walking naked on a Dublin street will not face prosecution, the Herald has learned.

Journalist and online blogger Dara Quigley (36) took her own life on April 12 last year, days after the footage was posted online and viewed more than 100,000 times.

The matter was referred to the Garda Siochana Ombudsman Commission (GSOC) and an investigation into the conduct of the garda began.

It is believed the garda at the centre of the investigation was suspended at the time of the incident.

Disciplinary

A spokesperson for the GSOC said the investigation was still ongoing. However, the Herald has learned from other sources that the garda who is suspected of recording the footage is not to face criminal prosecution.

The garda could, however, still face disciplinary action when the GSOC investigation is completed.

It is understood that when the investigation was first launched, the possible criminal aspect of it was looked at first, and the decision was made by the Director of Public Prosecutions that there would be no criminal charge stemming from the incident.

The matter of whether the garda will face disciplinary action or not is still being investigated by GSOC.

It is unclear if the garda has since returned to work or could return in the near future.

A garda spokesman said An Garda Siochana could not report on internal disciplinary matters, and also could not comment on the basis that the matter was still under investigation by GSOC.

At the time of her death, Ms Quigley's family said the fact that the video was posted online caused them a lot of distress, which was made worse by the fact that her name was published on several websites.

Ms Quigley had struggled with addiction and mental health issues in the months and years before her death.

The footage is believed to have been shared on a WhatsApp message and subsequently posted on Facebook by someone other than the person who recorded it.

Gardai requested the video be removed, but by the time it was taken down it had been seen around 125,000 times.

Ms Quigley took her own life five days after the video went viral.

Remember

In May last year, just weeks after Ms Quigley's death, her family and friends held a vigil at Leinster House, where people were urged not to remember her by the arrest and video, but by the changes she was trying to bring to society.

"In 2015 Dara decided she wanted to make a change in society," said her brother Sean.

"She wasn't happy with a lot of the things that she saw, the way the most vulnerable in society were being treated particularly upset her.

"So she said, 'As a New Year's resolution I'm going to be a writer and I'm going to make a change', and in January 2016 she was writing for the Dublin Inquirer.

"That's the kind of Dara that I want to remember and that's the kind of Dara that should be remembered."

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