Officers reveal fear after being assaulted
SEVERAL gardai have revealed how they coped after becoming victims of serious assaults.
They want new laws to give them added protection while on duty.
One delegate, Jeffrey White, from Kevin Street station in Dublin, told the conference he considered himself lucky to have escaped with his life after a violent assault while on duty. He was struck in the face with a broken bottle by a woman in 2006 and needed 30 stitches.
"There is not a day goes by when I don't think about that night – the fear, the fright, the risk, the what if," he said.
"It should now be a priority that legislation is introduced to provide protection for frontline emergency workers," Mr White said.
"Perhaps, I would be better off working in some nine-to-five day job. But I love my job and I am committed to providing the best possible service to the public," he said. "Enough is enough. Legislation is what I want because what we have at the moment is not sufficient to protect me."
Meanwhile, Garda Julie-Ann Byrne, pictured below, told the Garda Representative Association conference that she was a single mother who now depends on her elderly parents for financial help.
"I've 18 years' service. Five years ago I stupidly took on a mortgage, I was encouraged by the banks and people," she said.
"As a result of all the cuts to date I cannot pay. I'm a single mother with all the expenses that entails and there's no such thing as free education either.
"The embarrassing thing is I have to depend on my parents to help me financially. Now they're in their late 70s and early 80s and they have to help me out to pay my bills. I have no more to give," she added.