Top garda publicly 'slaps down' TD's feud claim
A top garda took to the airwaves to issue what has been described as an "unprecedented slapdown" of a Sinn Féin TD over comments made about the ongoing feud in Drogheda.
Deputy Imelda Munster has claimed there is a perception that a "blind eye is being turned" to the main instigators involved in the drugs row.
Gardaí have been investigating incidents of extortion, intimidation and violence over recent months including two local feuding drugs gangs.
Ms Munster said last week that people have a "naked fear" and do not believe officers will provide protection if they are alerted to threats.
She cited one case where a family allegedly told gardaí they would be attacked but there were no officers present when their home was targeted.
As a result of the statements on 'The Michael Reade Show' on LMFM, Chief Superintendent Christy Mangan said on Tuesday that all gardaí in the Louth division had been "tarnished". He said the assertions were "extremely unfair".
"To say that the guards are involved in colluding with drugs deals is very unfair and it certainly has tarnished the reputation of members," he said. Gda Mangan added that claims gardaí knew about a scheduled attack on a family home were "not factual".
Ms Munster then went back on the programme yesterday to stand by her original comments, although she admitted to having "no evidence that gardaí are protecting drug dealers".
"There is a real perception and that is the case in the public. The chief superintendent needs to acknowledge that," she said.
In the Seanad, Labour's Ged Nash described the garda's comments as an "unprecedented slapdown" of the TD.