Six gardaí in rural station warned of death threats from major criminal gang
Published 01/05/2015 | 02:30
Every garda in one rural station has been officially informed that their lives are in danger from a major criminal gang.
In an unprecedented situation, six uniformed officers were warned of credible death threats, the Irish Independent can reveal.
Some have already been subjected to a campaign of intimidation that they believe is a reaction to a local crackdown on organised crime.
The gardaí based in Carbury, Co Kildare, now park their personal cars at another station in the district and are driven to work in a squad car.
The issue was raised with the Garda Commissioner Noirín O'Sullivan during a closed session at the Garda Representative Association's annual conference on Tuesday. After several run-ins with big time criminals the local gardai were recently served with Garda Information Messages (GIM's) - documents which are issued to people when gardaí receive credible intelligence that their lives are being threatened.
Two weeks ago, two shotgun blast shattered the front window of the station during an early-morning attack.
The culprits then poured petrol through the window of the station, which was closed at the time, and set it alight but the fire failed to take hold.
In 2009, the two-room station house was extensively damaged in a separate arson attack by the same gang.
More recently, one officer was followed to his home and threatened. Bullets were left at the house and a petrol bomb was thrown at the front door which fortunately failed to ignite.
Local garda say they have been angered by the slow response from management, which eventually installed CCTV and panic alarms at the officer's home.
Sources say that although a number of major security operations involving heavily-armed members of the Regional Support Units have taken place in the region, they have not been enough to deter the criminals.
Union reps have urged Ms O'Sullivan to supply armed back-up to protect their colleagues as they try to go about their work.
One security source said: "This situation has been developing in Carbury over a number of years but it has been steadily escalating for the past year.
"It has never before been heard of that an entire station party has found themselves under serious threat and we need armed patrols to protect them going about their work."
The source added: "This gang are out of control and trying to turn the place into a lawless, no-go area.
"If it continues unchecked, we could be looking at another Adrian Donohoe situation and that is not an exaggeration."
The gang behind the sinister campaign is led by a Dublin man who is classed as one of the country's biggest drug traffickers.
He was one of several major criminals who moved to live in isolated rural areas of Kildare over the past decade to avoid police attention.
He has been associated with several gangland murders and was an associate of murdered godfather Martin Marlo Hyland.