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Sunday 23 September 2018

Chief Justice's driver punched in the face

Stock picture
Stock picture
Shane Phelan

Shane Phelan

Gardaí have launched an investigation following an assault on the Chief Justice's driver.

The incident happened yesterday morning at Smithfield Square, in Dublin, not far from the Four Courts.

It is understood an altercation occurred after the driver, a male Garda detective in his 50s, attempted to park his car around 9.30am.

Chief Justice Frank Clarke was not present at the time.

It is believed the driver, who was on duty, had either just dropped him off for a meeting or was on his way to pick him up from one.

The Irish Independent understands that while the garda was parking the car, words were exchanged with a passing pedestrian.

A confrontation occurred during which the garda was punched in the face.

Sources said the driver sustained a cut to his right cheek, but was otherwise unharmed. He did not require hospital treatment.

The assailant fled the scene and is now being sought by gardaí from the Bridewell Garda station.

Officers have appealed for any witnesses to come forward.

It is believed the incident was a random attack - and the assailant would not have known the garda was the Chief Justice's driver.

The car did not have markings which would have made it immediately obvious that it was a Garda vehicle.

Mr Justice Clarke is one of a small number of judges who are driven by armed members of the force for security reasons.

Similar arrangements are in place for members of the Special Criminal Court, which deals with gangland and terrorism cases.

Irish Independent

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