Early morning attack on garda condemned

Laneway close to Loughan House closed off after attack

The attack on an unarmed uniform member of An Garda Síochána in West Cavan in the early hours of this morning has been strongly condemned.

“Our thoughts are with the injured member and we send the best wishes of all our colleagues for a speedy recovery,” says Garda James Morrisroe, Cavan-Monaghan Divisional GRA representative. “Unfortunately this horrific and vicious assault reminds us of the dangers members face on a daily basis.”

Gda Morrisroe says in recent years the force has witnessed an increase in the number of assaults and also “the viciousness” of such attacks on members of the force.

“The circumstances of this incident are disturbing and highlight the need to protect Gardaí the society relies on to keep them safe.”

Calling for legislation that acts both as a “deterrent and adequate punishment” for such attacks, Gda Morrisroe said the GRA believe mandatory custodial sentences are required.

“Gardaí working alone, particularly in isolated locations need to see that their safety is a priority for our employer and this has to be demonstrated by having adequate numbers of members on duty who have adequate transport, driver training and technology such as body cams, currently there are deficiencies that are leaving members at risk in an environment of increasing assaults on our members.”

Fianna Fail TD for Cavan-Monaghan, Niamh Smyth, also joined in the condemnation.

“To wake up to the shocking news today of a brutal barbaric assault on a Garda in Blacklion in County Cavan is reprehensible and totally unacceptable,” she said.

“In the course of his work he is a protector of our community and this attack is totally unjustified and the perpetrators must be brought to justice. My thoughts are with this young Garda’s family at this time.”

An Garda Síochána are currently investigating “all the circumstances” of the assault which occurred at approximately 2am on February 28.

The garda, a native of Roscommon, was on patrol in the Loughan area near Blacklion.

Its understood, according to a statement issued by An Garda Siochana earlier this morning, that the garda officer had contacted colleagues seeking assistance.

“The member was disorientated and unable to explain the exact circumstances of events taking place.”

An Garda Síochána, through the North Western Region Headquarters Control Room, identified the member's location through the Garda AVPLS system.

The AVPLS (Automatic Vehicle & Personnel Location System) is a geographical positioning system that allows GPS tracking for both Vehicle and Hand portable TETRA terminals via National Digital Radio Service to a mapping system at a Regional or Divisional Control Centre.

Uniform colleagues subsequently attended the scene, known locally as White Father's Cave.

The back-up team was supported by Armed Support Units and they found their colleague in a disorientated state with his marked patrol vehicle also present at the scene.

“There was a strong smell of an accelerant in the air, his Garda uniform was saturated with an accelerant and he had signs of physical injuries.”

The Garda was then taken to Sligo University Hospital where he continues to be assessed and receive treatment this morning, for what have been described as “non-life threatening injuries”.

An Garda Síochána have sealed off the scene and the Garda Technical Bureau is carrying out an examination this morning.

An incident room has been established under a Senior Investigating Officer (SIO) at Cavan Garda Station.

The Garda member and his family have and will continue to be provided with the assistance of the Employee Assistance Service and all of An Garda Síochána support services.

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