Gript has obtained footage of a confrontation between residents of a migrant camp at Ashtown, North Dublin, and some local men, which took place on Saturday Morning, January 28th.
While Gript cannot exclude the possibility of a second incident later that morning which was subsequently reported in the Irish Times, our video is the only footage of any incident at the Tolka River encampment which has yet been published.
The video depicts a group of what the Irish Times’ Kitty Holland describes as “white Irish” men approaching migrants at the camp, and demanding to know the reason for the occupant’s presence.
However, unlike the report published in the Irish Times this weekend, there is no violence. None of the men who approach the camp are visibly armed. There is no evidence of any dogs present. After some initial hostility in tone, the men and the migrants find some common ground about the migrant’s circumstances, and have an amicable conversation.
Gript has blurred the faces of those in this video to conceal the identities of all those involved. We have made no other edits, and fair warning, some bad language is included:
Defenders of the Irish Times, and those determined to believe that a violent attack on this encampment did take place will, doubtless, speculate that the footage above relates to some kind of entirely separate incident which took place that same morning. In their defence, it is notable that the footage above does not show any Irish Times employee present. Readers will have to assess the probability that a second, entirely separate, incident took place that same morning. That possibility can never be excluded, but how likely it is is a matter for individual interpretation.
However, what we do have here is footage which accords almost perfectly with the Garda description of the incident that the Irish Times alleges took place. In the Irish Times’ words:
A Garda spokesman confirmed there had been an “incident on River Road. Gardaí responded quickly and engaged with those present. There was no report of any injuries and no formal complaints made at this time.
This video accords with that description of events – a mildly confrontational incident, to which Gardai may well have been called. But one in which nobody was injured, and there would be no cause for formal complaint.
The Irish Times story is an immensely serious report, focused entirely on a topic of immediate political attention, and, as such, the IT has an ethical obligation to release everything they have to back up their reporter’s words.
And recall that Kitty Holland did claim, on the radio this morning, to have photographs of the assailants retreating. Perhaps those photographs show baseball bats, and sticks, and dogs? If so, the Irish Times should, indeed must, release them promptly.
The Irish Times Editorial Board has chosen to stand over this story. It should be abundantly clear from the footage released here that there are now genuine and obvious questions to be asked about the accuracy of that story.