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Dad-of-seven threw block at garda van

A FATHER-of-seven ran at a garda patrol van and threw a breeze block on top of it as officers "came under attack" at a Dublin halting site after arresting a drunk-driving suspect.

John Casey (33) went on to resist arrest to the point that he had to be subdued by pepper spray.

He avoided jail after a judge recommended him for community service instead of a prison sentence.

Casey was convicted of causing criminal damage to the patrol van in an incident near his home at St Aidan's halting site, Tallaght.

Garda Wayne Gilgunn told Dublin District Court that he was on patrol at the Citywest Road in Saggart at 2.30am on April 2 when the suspected drunk-driver sped away in a Nissan Micra.

The pursuit led them to St Aidan's halting site, where they got out and arrested the driver.

Residents came out of their homes and became very aggressive. Many of those present were intoxicated.


Casey and another man tried to pull the prisoner away from the gardai.

As Garda Gilgunn put the man into the back of the van, a block was thrown at him, narrowly missing him. He did not see who threw it. He was unable to move the van because a patrol car was blocking its way.

"Mr Casey picked up a block and came running at the patrol van with it", the garda said.

"He threw it and I was sure the windscreen was going to come in, but it hit the bonnet."

Some €393 worth of damage was caused to the van but it was not repaired "due to the economic climate".

The court heard the first "wave" of gardai at the scene had to withdraw under a hail of stones being thrown by residents.

The court heard that the defendant had 14 previous convictions for offences, including dangerous driving causing death.