Wednesday 22 May 2019

Garda continues to receive death threats after protest despite investigation

Abuse received by gardai online
Abuse received by gardai online
Robin Schiller

Robin Schiller

A GARDA has continued to receive death threats online after a team of detectives was appointed to investigate the sick abuse.

Last week, the officer - who was on duty with a public order unit during the North Frederick Street protest in Dublin - was identified online, along with details of his movements.

Over the weekend, gardai confirmed that threats against the garda were being investigated, and it has emerged that a detective unit will attempt to identify those responsible for the messages.

While some messages have been posted anonymously, certain threats have been made on legitimate Facebook accounts.

One online post stated: "Big dirty [pig emoji]. Should stop all the fighting and the feuds and go to war with the Garda start murdering the b*****ds I'm not afraid there (sic) uniforms I'll do life for 1 them scum."

In a chilling twist, this account has been linked to a suspected hitman who was previously suspected of an attempted murder.

Another account wrote: "Scumbag I'm glad his face is up here karma is a bitch enjoy your karma c***face."

Another comment on Facebook said: "He is one fat pig all right... may karma delete him from this world asap."

The threats were made even after gardai confirmed that an active investigation into the messages was ongoing.

The Garda Representative Association (GRA) said it condemned the online threats against its members.

"The GRA unequivocally condemns the online abuse of and threats against those of our membership who were working as public servants at the recent North Frederick Street protest, including the derogatory comments made on last Friday night's Late Late Show," GRA spokesman John O'Keeffe said.

"They have led to vile social media abuse and threats where our members, and often their families, are intentionally identified.

"The association also acknowledges and appreciates Commissioner Drew Harris's prompt condemnation of the abuse, and we look forward to working with him to ensure that such threats against our membership, and indeed all public and civil servants involved in the enforcement of court orders, are fully investigated and processed in accordance with the law," he added.

Support mechanisms have also been put in place by garda management to protect the officer at the centre of the threats.

"Threats and intimidation against garda members who are only doing their job to keep people safe and uphold lawful order are completely unacceptable. I utterly condemn it," Mr Harris said.

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