Garda struck by missile during policing plan for Ballyfermot funeral
Story by Diarmuid Pepper • 1h ago
AN ALLEGED INCIDENT involving a garda being struck by a missile in Ballyfermot has been condemned by the Garda Representative Association (GRA).
A statement from the garda press office said that an officer was hit by a missile in the area today. It said that this morning, gardaí put in place an “information-led policing plan” in advance of a large funeral that took place in the Ballyfermot area today.
Videos widely circulated on social media today show incidents of scrambler bikes blocking Gardaí cars and objects being hurled at them in the Ballyfermot area. One clip showed a bike being thrown in the direction of a standing garda, which hit a nearby car.
One garda car was blocked in at the entrance of Tynan Hall Grove by males on scramblers who were revving in front of the car.
Footage of Gardaí arresting two men outside of a Circle K garage on the Kylemore road with biker helmets has also been circulated.
The incidents took place in the main at the roundabout nearby the Church of Our Lady of the Assumption, where the funeral took place.
Objects were hurled at garda cars.
Other footage showed a crew of scrambler drivers on the Naas road, with some doing wheelies while other motorists beeped at them.
“During the course of this event a number of incidents of dangerous driving and reckless endangerment were observed by Gardaí,” continued the statement.
“While intervening in one of these incidents, a member of An Garda Síochána was struck with a missile and has subsequently received medical treatment.
“Two Garda vehicles, a community policing patrol car and a marked patrol car received significant damage while present at this event.”
Two men were arrested on the Kylemore Road in relation to incidents of dangerous driving and two motorbikes were seized. Both were taken to Garda stations in South Dublin and have since been released pending a file being sent to the DPP.
A policing plan remains in place in the area to ensure the safety of local residents, and investigations are ongoing.
In a statement issued today, Mark Ferris, the GRA Representative for Dublin Metropolitan Region West, said:
“I sincerely hope my colleague makes a speedy recovery from the injuries he received in the line of duty in Ballyfermot.”
Ferris added: “The association hopes the government takes notice of events such as these and listens to our request for the immediate formation of a special task force to research these policing issues.”
He called on the government to “step up efforts to help officers protect themselves” and said “a small minority cannot be allowed dictate to this government and to wider society”.
“We simply do not have enough gardaí policing our streets 24/7, do not have the necessary equipment and are facing an exodus of officers demoralised by the entire situation,” said Ferris.
Local Sinn Féinn councillor Daithi Doolan said that the incidents that took place today overshadowed what was a day of “grieving and sadness” for a family, who were mourning the loss of a local man who died last week.
“These were the actions of a group of a small group of people who do not represent the local community here. It’s important that we find ways to reach out to these people so this never happens again.
“The residents of Kylemore road were subjected to terrible behaviour today. We need to redouble our efforts to protect gardaí. The Government needs to wake up to the crisis in policing in this country. No one should be facing this level of violence at work.
“Aside from that pay conditions need to be improved for Gardaí to attract more people into the force, because morale is on the floor right now,” Doolan added.
Speaking to The Journal, local People Before Profit councillor Hazel de Nortúin said “everybody has a right to go about their work in a safe space”.
“What happens when flare-ups like this happen, it just shows the importance of interagency on the ground working around that space and trying to figure out what exactly is the trigger, why does it revert to violence against gardai?”
She added: “It just shows the constant work that we need to be doing to get into the actual underlying issues in the area.”
The councillor told The Journal that people had assembled in the area to pay their respect to one of their deceased friends.
“But everybody has the right to go around their community in a safe space,” she added.
“That’s what we’ve always been trying to do, to bridge that gap between allowing whatever you want to do but also making sure the area and the community is safe.”
De Nortúin also highlighted other ways in which today’s incident affects the community:
“There’s a lot of people involved in an environmental group who have put years into that particular roundabout [near where the alleged incident occurred]. It’s their space to show the pride of Ballyfermot as you enter into the area. Everything that happened has an effect on the community.”