Thugs now targeting the families of gardai as violence escalates
More than 600 gardai were injured in assaults last year and, in a shocking development, the wives of some officers have been attacked, reports Jim Cusack
Figures supplied by Garda Headquarters show that 617 gardai were absent for three days or more as a result of injury on duty last year. The figure for 2011 was 671. The "vast majority", gardai say, involve assaults on frontline gardai.
The figures taken together reflect a trend of violent assaults on gardai which, members say, is unprecedented in the force's history. According to gardai, never in the past has so much violence been directed at them – and at their families – and so little been done about it.
An investigation into the assault of two garda detectives' wives in Co Mayo earlier this month has yet to lead to arrests. In one attack in Charlestown, a gang armed with knives and a hammer burst into the home of a detective and assaulted his wife when they found he was not at home. The attack happened at 11.15pm on Friday, March 1. The detective's wife was on her own as her husband was working. Their two young children were asleep upstairs.