Lock up those who attack gardaí on duty, says GRA
A horrific injury was suffered by an uniformed garda when he was grappled to the ground while trying to arrest a crime suspect.
The garda received 22 staples in the elbow wound and was off work for five months.
The photograph of the injury was displayed yesterday during a debate on assaults on members of the force at the annual conference of the Garda Representative Association in Galway.
Kilkenny delegate Ger Comerford produced the photograph of his unnamed colleague, who was assaulted in 2013.
The association wants legislation changed to create a specific charge of assault on a frontline emergency worker with a minimum mandatory sentence of at least a year.
Tánaiste and Justice Minister Frances Fitzgerald ruled out mandatory sentencing. But she said she would examine existing assault legislation to see if it could be used more strongly, empowering the judiciary to protect gardaí who were facing attack.
Garda Commissioner Nóirín O'Sullivan said she was very conscious of assaults on members.
"I've been bitten, I've been spat at and I've been assaulted," she said. "I know what it's like to wait at home where you have a family member assaulted and you're waiting to see have they recovered from a very serious injury. I can empathise with all of our members who go out every single day to do a good job and also with their families".