Tuesday, September 20, 2022

Muireann Duffy

Updated: 10.40am. Additional reporting by Vivienne Clarke.

Minister for Justice Helen McEntee has condemned an incident of dangerous driving in Cherry Orchard, Dublin on Monday evening, during which a garda car was hit by a vehicle.

Gardaí are appealing for witnesses following the incident which occurred shortly after 7.30pm involving two vehicles.

The cars failed to stop when asked to do so by gardaí and one of the vehicle subsequently collided with a garda car. No injuries were reported.

Footage of the incident has been circulating on social media since Monday evening.

Ms McEntee said any assault on gardaí is “unacceptable and utterly disrespectful of the rule of law”.

“Those showing contempt for gardaí and decent communities last night will be investigated,” she added.

Local Sinn Féin councillor Daithí Doolan also condemned the behaviour, however, he said the incident highlights how the community has been “abandoned” by the Minister and Garda management.

Gardaí said no arrests have yet been made and investigations are ongoing.

Social media

Earlier, the general secretary of the Association of Garda Sergeants and Inspectors (AGSI) Antoinette Cunningham said social media was a major factor in the incident.

Speaking to RTÉ Radio’s Morning Ireland, Ms Cunningham said videos were posted online showing onlookers cheering as the car drove into a Garda car before reversing and driving into the vehicle again.

She added the incident should be condemned by all politicians and community leaders in the area.

Social media coverage of the incident would encourage copycat incidents, she warned, as others would feel empowered to engage in “more of this behaviour”.

Such behaviour was completely unacceptable for the ordinary people who lived in the area and for the gardaí who were trying to “go about their lawful job,” she said.

“It’s easy to condemn, it’s difficult to give solutions to ensure that this kind of behaviour doesn’t continue. We have to find long term solutions.”

She added it is important to ensure that gardaí had the support and resources to safely go about their work to ensure events like this did not happen.

Gardaí are appealing for anyone who witnessed the incident to come forward.

Anyone with information is asked to contact Ballyfermot Garda station on 01-666 7200, the Garda Confidential Line on 1800-666 111, or any Garda station.

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