Friday 20 April 2018

Gang led by notorious criminal 'tried to lure gardai into pub for attack'

Anthony O'Driscoll
Anthony O'Driscoll

Robin Schiller

A west Dublin gang responsible for a number of attacks and assaults on gardai tried to "lure" officers into a pub to attack them.

The group of young men, led by notorious criminal Anthony 'Harpo' O'Driscoll (37), were socialising in a Ballyfermot pub when an altercation occurred with door staff at the premises.

Gardai were called and a patrol car arrived at the scene in the early hours of last Saturday.

However, a source told how the gang's intentions were to "lure gardai into the pub" in order to launch an attack.

"There was a group of men who refused to leave and were trying to get gardai to enter the pub so they could attack them," the source said.

"The gang are known for their extreme contempt towards gardai and have had several serious run-ins with officers over the last number of months."


Responding gardai waited for reinforcements to arrive, but the situation ended when the group eventually left the pub.

The gang are believed to be behind a number of attacks on gardai in recent months with officers warned to exercise extreme caution when entering certain estates in the Cherry Orchard area.

Several ambushes have been carried out on gardai this year, with the latest of these occurring last month.

Officers attached to Ballyfermot Garda station were responding to reports of a stolen car when they spotted a vehicle driving erratically in the area.

They followed the vehicle to an estate in Cherry Orchard, where pallets were used to blockade the road to prevent gardai from exiting.

A group of youths and young men began launching bottles and bricks at the patrol car, smashing the rear window of the vehicle as well as damaging a wing mirror, but thankfully the officers were uninjured during the incident.

Group leader O'Driscoll was 19 in 1997 when caught red-handed with IR£200,000 worth of heroin after gardai watched him digging a parcel of drugs from under a sleeper on the Dublin to Cork rail line.

He has convictions going back to the age of 12 for offences including assault causing harm, possession of heroin, attempted burglary, damage to property, unlawful carriage, criminal damage, larceny, and road traffic offences.

As well as carrying out a number of planned attacks on gardai, the gang are also the main suspects behind dozens of car thefts in Dublin 10 and surrounding areas.

The gang was also behind the Halloween mayhem in the Cherry Orchard area four years ago, which left five garda hospitalised.

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