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Friday 19 September 2014

Teenager dies following home raid in which senior garda injured

Ralph Riegel and Conor Feehan

Published 16/05/2014 | 07:45

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Scene at Sallybrook, Dungarvan, Waterford where the incident happened this morning. Picture: Caroline Quinn
Scene at Sallybrook, Dungarvan, Waterford where the incident happened this morning. Picture: Caroline Quinn
The scene this morning in Dungarvan. Picture Gareth Higgins @gtahiggins
The scene following the raid this morning Dungarvan. Picture Gareth Higgins @gtahiggins

A teenager is dead following a security incident in Dungarvan, Co Waterford in which a senior garda was injured.

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A major search was launched following the attack at the house of the senior officer.

The four youths fled the scene - but it is understood the teenager fell in an area of marshland on the coast. He died after the fall.

The drama unfolded at around 2am when a group of up to four men, believed to be aged between 16 and 20 years of age, were involved in the attack at the garda’s house.

During a follow-up operation two suspects were being pursued by gardai when they took to an area of marshland behind the Abbeyside estate.

The coastguard were also brought in to help in the search.



The scene following the raid this morning Dungarvan. Picture Gareth Higgins @gtahiggins

Taoiseach Enda Kenny said he deplored the attack on the Waterford Garda's home after which the young man lost his life but rejected suggestions it signalled an upsurge in violence against members of the force.

Mr Kenny, speaking in Cork, said he did not believe that the incident was in any way indicative of an upsurge in violence linked to anger at the force over recent revelations.

"No, I think we have had a number of tragic incidents (against the Gardai) over the years either by the IRA or by other criminal activities where Gardai have been caught in situations like this," Mr Kenny said.

The Taoiseach said he did not want to comment in detail on the Dungarvan incident because an independent investigation was underway.

"I don't have all the details of this. But I deplore this kind of attack. I understand that somebody has died in this matter and that is to be very much regretted," he said.

"The issue now becomes one for investigation by the Garda Siochana Ombudsman Commission (GSOC) where any member of the Gardai are involved GSOC will have to undertake that investigation and report to the Minister for Justice (Frances Fitzgerald)."

A gang attacked the home of the officer in the early hours of this morning in the west Waterford town.

The garda suffered slash wounds to his head and was transferred to Waterford Regional Hospital (WRH) in Ardkeen for treatment.

His injuries are not life-threatening.

The garda was injured as he bravely tried to chase the four man gang away from his home.

The men fled on foot and one is understood to have become separated from his friends and, in fleeing over marshland, tripped and injured himself.

It appears that he then fell into a stream or river and drowned.

Two other men were arrested not far from the scene and are currently being questioned by gardai.

Mr Kenny declined to comment further on the incident.

"I don't have all the details and it is a matter for GSOC," he said.

But he said he could not see how the incident was in any way triggered by recent events involving the garda force nationally.

The gardai have been rocked by the resignation of Commissioner Martin Callinan, whistle-blower revelations in Cork and Westmeath and then the resignation of Justice Minister Alan Shatter.

"The issues of the recent past are ones we can deal with," Mr Kenny stressed.

"The Minister for Justice has outlined the decisions taken by Government and a process here with timelines to move in that direction."

"Clearly people do want to have integrity and belief in the Gardai...the men and women who work in the Garda want the same thing."



Irish Independent

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