| 6.5°C Dublin

Extra gardai deployed for horse market

EXTRA garda units and resources will be deployed at future Smithfield horse fairs to quell violence.

Last weekend, gardai made a determined effort to avoid a repeat of scenes from March 6, when two men were shot and a third was injured with a slash hook.

The day passed without major incident -- but three men in their 20s were arrested.

One man was detained just before 11am on suspicion of stealing a horse. Two others were arrested a short time later for alleged public order offences and failing to control a horse, after an animal galloped through the square.

The men were taken to Bridewell Garda Station where they were charged.

The new Minister for Justice, Equality and Defence, Alan Shatter, has said that extra garda resources will be provided to police the event.

"Following the incidents which occurred at the event recently, additional resources will be deployed, including specialist units and high visibility uniform patrols, to ensure the safety of those attending and to prevent incidents of public disorder, anti-social behaviour, violence and other criminal behaviour," he said.

"Local garda management will continue to liaise with the local authority and other stakeholders involved in organising this event. The policing requirements for the event will remain under review."


Two men from Offaly required treatment after both were shot in the leg in the violent disturbances, while a third received emergency surgery after his arm was nearly sliced off by a machete at the Smithfield Fair on March 6.

The second man has been transferred to a hospital in the midlands from the Mater.

Minister for Enterprise Richard Bruton has written to the Attorney General seeking legal advice on closing the horse fair down.

There have been numerous other calls from local businesses and politicians supporting that course of action.

Orla Aungier, of the DSPCA, said violence and aggression at the horse fair is nothing new.

She reiterated the animal charity's call for the market to be closed down from Smithfield.

"An alternative site for the fair needs to be found but above all there needs to be some regulation."