Cherry Orchard ramming incident ‘disgraceful’ , Garda Commissioner says – The Irish Times & More Breaking News

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Footage posted online has captured a Garda car being rammed twice during an incident in Cherry Orchard, Dublin.

The Garda Commissioner has described the incident in which a Garda car was rammed in the Dublin suburb of Cherry Orchard on Monday night as “disgraceful” and “very concerning”.

Drew Harris said there was a full investigation under way and the Garda would look to tonight and the following nights. He said there had been vigorous policing in the area over recent weeks.

On Monday night, video footage emerged on social media of a Garda car being rammed by another vehicle in Cherry Orchard. A spokesman for the gardaí said members received reports of dangerous driving in the Ballyfermot area. Upon their arrival at the scene, two vehicles were driving erratically, failed to stop when requested to do so, and one vehicle then rammed an official Garda car. Mr Harris said the Garda members were uninjured.

Earlier Minister for Justice Helen McEntee said any assault on gardaí is “unacceptable and utterly disrespectful of the rule of law and the law abiding community”,.

“Those showing contempt for gardaí and decent communities last night will be investigated and I urge anyone with information to contact An Garda Siochana,” Ms McEntee said on Twitter.

Local representatives have said residents in the suburb are “living in fear” of being petrol bombed or having their cars burnt out.

Local Sinn Féin councillor Daithí Doolan, who is also the chairman of the Dublin City Council Joint Policing Committee, said this is just the latest in a series of antisocial incidents the community has experienced.

In January, there were six nights in a row when cars were robbed and burned out, he said, with another surge in violence in July when cars were robbed five nights in a row and taken on a “joyride” around the community.

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“This is nothing new unfortunately. It was a very, very dangerous situation for the gardaí, for the residents, and indeed for the young people,” he said.

“Cherry Orchard is a community in trauma. When young people are raised in a community when there is violence like that, drug-related intimidation, the activity that goes with drug dealing, criminal gangs, it leaks down to young people. Those people grow up to be parents, they grow up to be grandparents. And now we’re dealing with three generations, leaving a deep trauma that’s unresolved.”

Gardaí have previously said they were aware of ongoing incidents in the area, and were liaising with local representatives and communities on the matter.

The incident has been described as “very disturbing” by the Association of Garda Sergeants and Inspectors (AGSI).

Antoinette Cunningham, general secretary of the AGSI, said social media was a “big factor”.

Social media coverage of the incident could encourage copycat incidents, as others would feel empowered to engage in “more of this behaviour”, she told RTE’s Morning Ireland.

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”.

The situation required more than just condemnation, it required solutions, 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.”

Brendan O’Connor, president of the Garda Representative Association (GRA), said the incident was “indicative” of the need to increase resources for the force.

“We’re now investigating this incident, we’re all looking at social media posts, any other police service in the western world would have at least footage from a car camera, or officer camera, we’re now relying on two gardaí who are most definitely traumatised to recollect what they saw and gather evidence from other sources,” he told RTE’s Today with Claire Byrne.

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“Again it’s indicative of under-resourcing, equipment is 30 years out of date, all the things that the guards and the Garda Representative Association are beating a drum for years and years and not listened to; this is a manifestation of all the problems we’ve tried to highlight.

He added: “People think we’re always complaining, always winging, always looking for more. The basic things are not there for our members going out to keep communities safe.”

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