Sunday 18 August 2019

People of Drogheda 'need a united front' in policing to tackle dangerous feud, GRA says

Jim Mulligan, President, Garda Representative Association (GRA), left and Pat Ennis General Secretary ahead of his association's annual conference in Killarney on Monday evening. The GRA 2 day conference begins on Tuesday. Photo: Don MacMonagle
Jim Mulligan, President, Garda Representative Association (GRA), left and Pat Ennis General Secretary ahead of his association's annual conference in Killarney on Monday evening. The GRA 2 day conference begins on Tuesday. Photo: Don MacMonagle

Ken Foy

The body who represent frontline gardai have described the criminals involved in the bitter Drogheda feud as “reckless, indiscriminate thugs” as they called for more resources to deal with the dispute.

The president of the Garda Representative Association (GRA), Jim Mulligan who is an officer based in south Dublin, made the remarks at a press conference at the opening of the association's annual conference in Killarney, Co Kerry, this evening.

His comments came after seven firebomb attacks and an attempted gun murder in the past week as the feud in the Co Louth town threatens to spiral out of control.

“The Garda Representative Association is acutely aware of the need for a better equipped, better trained, more professionalised police force,” Mr Mulligan told reporters.

“Events in Drogheda and elsewhere in Louth, Meath and border counties has brought this need into stark focus in recent days and weeks.

“We have been making our case for better training, equipment and facilities for a number of years. Regrettably, we’ve not got the response we were looking for.

“However, too much is at stake to start playing a blame game. The safety of the public is the number one priority. The people of Drogheda, in particular, need a united front from everyone involved in policing

“The operational response to these serious crimes is a matter for the Commissioner – and the GRA supports any additional measures he may take to crack down on these reckless, indiscriminate thugs,” he explained.

His comments came as it emerged that rank and file gardaí are seeking a 24-hour armed support unit in every division in the country to deal with violent crime including Co Louth where the feud is raging.

There are major concerns also that a garda could be shot by one of the organised crime gangs involved in ATM thefts and Garda James Morrisroe of the Northern Garda Division told independent.ie that the criminals involved in this type of crime have “no fear” of unarmed gardai.

IT “makes sense” for banks to place dye in ATM machines to try halt crime gangs continuing its spate of ATM robberies on both sides of the border, the president of the Garda Representative Association  (GRA) has said.

Gardaí and the PSNI have been frustrated by the recent spate of robberies amid growing public anger.

GRA president Jim Mulligan said the spate of ATM robberies were ‘a concern’ for gardai.

Mr Mulligan added that cash-and-transit vans had dye mechanisms attached to deter robberies.

Online Editors

Editor's Choice

Also in Irish News