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Gardaí seize mobile phones in dawn raids on homes as part of probe into Cherry Orchard ramming incident

  • The two female officers in the car have now reported unfit for duty
  • Gardaí hope footage on the phones seized will help identify the youths involved

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A video grab from footage of the incident in Cherry Orchard

A video grab from footage of the incident in Cherry Orchard

A video grab from footage of the incident in Cherry Orchard

Gardaí have seized a number of mobile phones to secure footage they hope will identify the youths who rammed a garda car in west Dublin.

Two female gardaí were injured after the stolen cars crashed into them in Cherry Orchard in front of a large crowd of youths on Monday evening.

This morning six houses were searched in the Ballyfermot and Clondalkin areas of the capital as part of the investigation into the ramming incident.

Independent.ie understands that the raids targeted youths suspected of recording the incident and several mobile phones were seized during today's operation.

Investigators hope to secure evidence that will help identify the drivers of the stolen vehicles.

This includes original footage of the incident recorded by bystanders, excerpts of which were later widely shared on social media.

Gardaí believe that those involved are as young as 13 and linked to a spate of car thefts across Dublin in recent months.

In a statement today gardaí said they searched six domestics residences as part of the investigation into the "endangerment of garda members and related incidents" in the Cherry Orchard area.

"The searches this morning were focused on evidential gathering, and a number of items including electronic devices were seized.

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"No arrests have been made, investigations are ongoing," a garda headquarters said.

It added that both gardaí have reported as “unfit for duty” and are being supported by local management and the wider organisational supports in place.

The youths involved are suspected of being part of a local gang who regularly rob cars across Dublin before "rallying" them around the Cherry Orchard and Bluebell areas.

The joyriders also brazenly record the car thefts and erratic driving as well as pursuits involving gardaí.

In particular they target specific cars imported from the Asian market which have no immobiliser and are therefore easier to steal.

The latest incident on Monday happened at 7.30pm as gardaí were responding to reports of vehicles being driven dangerously on Cherry Orchard Avenue.

One of the female gardaí involved, in a statement through that Garda Representative Association (GRA), said: "I'm alive, that's the main thing. It was so daunting to see a mob baying for our car to be rammed."

Detective garda Mark Ferris, the GRA representative for the West Dublin division, said: “Both Gardai, having been medically assessed by their respective GPs, subsequently are now off duty on medical advice due to their injuries.

"In the aftermath of this appalling incident, both Gardaí told the GRA that they were still trying to process the traumatic events."

Concerns have been raised at the level of garda resources in the area to cope with the significant anti-social behaviour that has left residents terrified.

It is understood that the nearby Ballyfermot garda station has been closed for the detention of prisoners since March 2020 and is under strength in terms of the number of frontline gardaí.

It is also understood that there have been 15 resignations from the Ballyfermot District in the last two-and-a-half years alone.


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