THE GARDA Síochána Ombudsman Commission (GSOC) has launched investigations into 20 complaints about the conduct of gardaí at a student demonstration last month which saw some protesters clash violently with gardaí.

The GSOC, which investigates complaints against gardaí, received 36 complaints from members of the public. A spokesman said 20 of these complaints had been deemed "admissible" and were under active investigation.

The grievances centre on allegations gardaí used excessive force during the disturbances in Dublin city centre at a rally on 3 November.

The Union of Students in Ireland, which mobilised over 25,000 for the protest, distanced itself from a group of breakaway protesters involved in clashes outside the Department of Finance on Merrion Street, in which missiles, including bricks and beer cans, were thrown at officers and garda horses.

Some protesters suffered cuts to the head and bloody noses during the scuffles with gardaí, who drew their batons. There were three arrests and two people were charged with criminal damage and breach-of-the-peace offences.