‘false report’ | 

Woman arrested as gardai warn of ‘misinformation’ surrounding alleged attacks by migrants

The woman was arrested under ‘false report’ legislation

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Neasa CumiskeySunday World

Gardaí have arrested a woman under ‘false report’ legislation as they issued a warning about “misinformation” surrounding alleged attacks by migrants in Waterford.

The woman has been arrested as part of an overall investigation into the alleged assault of a woman in Waterford.

The alleged attack is reported to have taken place in Dungarvan on Sunday, 19 February.

A number of social media posts ware shared online following the incident, which was described as a “gang rape” by men who were “non-Irish” by friends and family of the victim.

Gardaí investigating the incident reportedly requested that these posts be removed from social media platforms.

In a statement, a garda spokesperson confirmed that a woman was arrested under Section 12 of the Criminal Law Act 1976.

This section relates to a person who “knowingly makes a false report or statement tending to show that an offence has been committed” or “knowingly makes a false report or statement tending to show that he has information material to any inquiries by the Garda Síochána and thereby causes the time of the Garda Síochána to be wastefully employed”.

The arrested woman was detained under Section 4 of the Criminal Justice Act 1984 and was later released. A file is now being prepared for the Office of the Director of Public Prosecutions.

The spokesperson told sundayworld.com: “Gardaí continue to investigate all the circumstances of an alleged attempted assault that is reported to have occurred on Sunday 19th February 2023 in Dungarvan, County Waterford.

“As part of that investigation investigating Gardaí have arrested a female for an offence contrary to Section 12 of the Criminal Law Act 1976. The female was detained under section 4 Criminal Justice Act 1984 and subsequently released. A file is now being prepared for the Office of the Director of Public Prosecutions.”

Social media reports indicated that another alleged attack took place in Dungarvan just over a week later.

However, gardaí said that they are not investigating any such incidents nor are they aware of “any alleged spate of attacks by foreign nationals as suggested”.

While the spokesperson clarified that An Garda Síochána doesn’t comment on third party material posted online, they said the force is “acutely aware of the significant volume of misinformation, disinformation and fake news in circulation in relation to public safety.”

The spokesperson added that gardaí would like to remind the public that “An Garda Síochána is the sole agency invested with the statutory role of preserving peace and public order” after a Volunteer Safety Patrol was set up to patrol the town’s streets.

“It is also An Garda Síochána’s statutory role to investigate crime and enforce enacted legislation.

“An Garda Síochána works closely with our communities in line with our mission of keeping people safe.

“An Garda Síochána has a number of initiatives in place to facilitate engagement with communities and reporting of concerns including Community Alert, Neighbourhood Watch, Community Text Alert and ‘See Something, Say Something’.”

The spokesperson added: “An Garda Síochána would urge anyone with information relating to any crime to report it immediately to An Garda Síochána where it will be investigated. In emergency situations such as crime in progress, or urgent Garda assistance is required, members of the public should always contact 999/112”.

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