Wednesday 22 January 2020

GRA call for body cameras and mandatory minimum sentences after two gardaí attacked by gang of youths

The Mater Hospital in Dublin
The Mater Hospital in Dublin
Stock picture
Robin Schiller

Robin Schiller

A male and female garda were hospitalised this morning after being assaulted by a gang of youths in the north-inner city Dublin.

The incident occurred shortly after midnight in the Manor Street area of Stoneybatter.

The two gardai were on uniform foot patrol in the area when they came across a large gang of youths, and were subsequently assaulted.

Both officers-who are attached to Bridewell garda station in the DMR North Central Division- were brought to the Mater Hospital where they were treated for head and facial injuries, but they have since been discharged.

A youth has since been arrested in relation to the incident and is being detained at the Bridewell Garda Station under Section 4 of the Criminal Justice Act.

The Garda Representative Association, which represents over 10,500 rank and file members of the force, has condemned the attacks.

A spokesperson said in a statement that the organisation was “absolutely incensed” by the news.

“This attack was unprovoked and totally indiscriminate. We wish our colleagues a full and speedy recovery,” the spokesperson said.

“No one should expect to be assaulted as part of their job yet these attacks have become an unacceptable occupational hazard.

"This incident shows the perils Gardaí face on a daily basis. We have no idea what lies ahead of us when we arrive at work every day.”

They added: “It’s clear that those responsible have no respect for the law or members of An Garda Síochána.”

The spokesperson mentioned that a number of Gardaí in Kildare received death threats in the past week, while officers in Kerry were rammed in their car during a robbery in Waterville.

“There incidents along with last night’s assault illustrate the difference between the jobs of Gardaí and those of other public sector workers,” they said.

“No other members of the public sector are required to wear stab vests to work or carry ASPs (batons) as a matter of course.”

In light of the attacks, the Garda Representative Association said it is “vital” that front line members of An Garda Síochána be allowed to carry tasers as a deterrent.

The organisation has also called for body-worn cameras to be assigned to all Gardaí, and the introduction of mandatory minimum sentences for people who assault members of the frontline emergency services.

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