Dramatic scenes near Granard on Monday evening of an altercation, in which a Garda shot a dog, have gone viral, writes Thomas Lyons. The Garda Síochána Ombudsman Commission (GSOC) is investigating the incident and the video footage will be examined as part of that.
The exchange between four people - a truck driver, a Garda and a couple with a dog - has been shared tens of thousands of times across multiple social media platforms.
The video commences at an apparent stand-off between the couple and the other two. The phone recording appears to be made by the female, who the Celt understands is heavily pregnant.
The male then says to the Garda “that’s my wife,” before continuing, “I have a woman who in four weeks is ready go to hospital.”
“In three weeks time, I’ve f**ing three weeks to go to hospital... and you want to put your f**king gun away as well,” the woman shouts at the Garda.
The officer is trying to keep the male away from the driver of the flat bed truck. He tells the man “back off,” but the man continues to attempt to get to the man in the cab of the truck.
As the camera only shows part of the scene, it’s difficult to follow the interactions.
Someone can be heard to shout “watch out!” before you can see the officer looking down as his tie is being pulled by something out of the frame.
No dog can be seen or heard in the footage, though it’s understood that it is the dog pulling the Garda by the tie as the situation escalates.
The Garda says: “I’ll put a bullet in his head,” before raising his gun. Then says “get him to let go of me” before he appears to shoot at the dog.
“Aagh me foot!” the man says.
The female then shrieks: “Ahhh you shot him. You’re after shooting me husband. Oh my God, oh my God...”
When the camera pans to a man’s feet showing blood near the heel of his trainer before the video ends.
A statement from the Gardaí said: ‘As part of an ongoing investigation, gardaí from Longford attended at an incident in Granard on December 3, 2018. During the course of this incident, an official Garda firearm was discharged. As this incident has been referred to the Garda Siochana Ombudsman Commission, An Garda Síochána are not in a position to comment further.’
Speaking to The Anglo-Celt, Sergeant Brian Wheelan of the Garda Press Office explained the procedure: “There will be an investigation by ourselves and GSOC. The firearm will be seized for forensic examination. The scene where the incident took place will be examined.
“GSOC will put this information together, along with statements, to build up an image of what happened at the scene. This will give an indication of what happened and where to go from there.”
The Sergeant said that the video will be considered by the Garda oversight body: “With social media now, there is very little you can do about it. GSOC may take that into account, it will form a part of the investigation.”
The Garda Press office spokesperson said they could not comment if the officers was still on active duty: “I don’t have that information at the moment. There is a lot of specifics of the case that we cannot discuss because of the GSOC investigation.”