Sunday 21 January 2018

'A gun was pulled on me and I had no bullet proof vest,' says garda giving evidence at MacLochalainn Commission

Ronan Mac Lochlainn
Ronan Mac Lochlainn

Clodagh Sheehy

A garda has described her shock when a man pulled a gun on herself and her colleague and how “I was conscious I had no bullet proof vest”.

The detective garda, working with the National Surveillance Unit and described as DG35, was giving evidence to the MacLochlainn Commission of Inquiry.

She said it was one of her clearer memories of her career having a firearm pointed at her. “To be honest I got an awful fright when the gun was pulled”.

She could not say if the man had a balaclava or not. “To me the gun was the issue”.

The Inquiry is examining the circumstances surrounding the death of Ronan MacLochlainn (28) from Ballymun,  who was shot dead by Gardai during a botched  armed robbery at Cullenmore Bends near Ashford, Co Wicklow on May 1st 1998.

The Garda told how she was involved in surveillance duty following two Real IRA vans from Dublin to Ashford, Co Wicklow on the day the incident occurred.

Herself and her colleague had stopped in Ashford when they were given an instruction to follow a Securicor Van which had passed by where they were parked up.

They moved out to follow the van but were not directly behind it. As they went around bends in the road a car pulled out of a lane to her left. 

It pulled in front of their car. “A man jumped out with a shotgun” and pointed it at them.

She said her colleague had immediately done a u-turn and she had concentrated on giving out a radio message to colleagues.

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