A Garda car was rammed after officers responded to reports of dangerous driving in a Dublin suburb this evening.
The incident happened just after 7.30pm when Gardaí were made aware of several cars that had been driving dangerously in the Cherry Orchard area.
In a statement, Gardaí said when officers arrived, “they observed two vehicles driving erratically.”
“Both vehicles failed to stop when Gardaí requested it and one vehicle collided with an official Gardaí vehicle.
“No injuries were reported during the incident.”
Video footage of the incident was widely circulated on social media, showing a large crowd of people watching from the side of the road as two cars speed up and down a stretch of road.
Footage shows a car ramming the patrol car twice before backing up.
Gardaí have appealed to anyone who witnessed the incident to come forward. They are appealing to anyone who was in the Cherry Orchard area at the time and who may have camera footage, including dash cam footage, to provide it to the Gardaí investigation.
Anyone requiring information is asked to contact Ballyfermot Garda Station on 01 666 7200, the Garda Confidential Line 1800 666 111 or any Garda Station.
Gardaí said no arrests had been made and their investigation was ongoing.
Local politicians criticized what they described as scenes of “utter lawlessness”.
Fianna Fáil TD Cormac Devlin said: “Videos posted online tonight show scenes of utter lawlessness in a Dublin community.
“Clips posted online show cars driving erratically and ramming Gardaí with no fear or thought of the Gardaí on duty.
“This is a testament to the shocking incidents Gardaí have to deal with when a small fraction of the people terrorizes an entire community.
“We need to be much more responsive to the sheer lawlessness that’s happening across the capital and support the gardaí with the resources and legislation to deal with those who are behaving without regard to law or life.
“My thoughts are with the Gardaí who are having to deal with these incidents tonight and with the majority of the good people who are being terrorized by these thugs.”
Local Sinn Féin Councilor Daithí Doolin said the cars involved in the incident were later found burned out in the local park. He said the incident was a “terrifying ordeal for local residents”.
Speaking to Independent.ie, he said “this didn’t come out of nowhere,” adding, “It was last night, last week, last month, last year.”
He said tonight’s incident underscores the need for more resources in the area to deal with antisocial behavior, starting with more Garda resources.
And while a Garda helicopter was hovering over the area tonight and the Emergency Response Unit was called to the area tonight, he said there was only one Garda car available to patrol the entire Ballyfermot area, which he says is unacceptable.
“That would not be tolerated in Blackrock, Foxrock or Lucan,” he said.
“It happens every night and the residents are absolutely terrified.”
He said he hoped videos of the car ramming incident would prompt a much-needed response from Gardaí, Dublin City Council and the government to address the issue.
“We need a plan for the area,” he said.
Cllr Doolin has previously spoken of neighborhoods ” teetering on the brink of lawlessness,” saying at a Dublin City Council Joint Policing Committee meeting in July that residents live in constant fear and trauma.
“We’re not talking about traumatized individuals, we’re talking about families and whole communities traumatized by intergenerational issues that may have been caused by drug-related intimidation, addiction, unemployment, mental health, violence and crime,” he told the meeting.
“When this happens over and over again in a concentrated area, people are living with trauma all the time.
“They live with violence or the threat of violence all the time and it shows in a very clear way.”
Earlier this month he spoke of a series of incidents in which cars were robbed and burned out in the area, causing “great distress” to residents, particularly the elderly and parents of young children.
Responding to tonight’s footage, Garda Representative Association (GRA) President Brendan O’Connor said: “This footage may come as a shock to much of the public, but for this association this is a glaring example of an all too familiar threat to its members on the front lines that we represent.
“Unfortunately, we are all too aware of what we have seen as a diminishing ability to respond to and deal with those aiming to wreak havoc on the streets.
“The issues are complex, but the common thread is a lack of recruitment, investment, proper training, unworkable protocols and policies, and retention of experienced and valued Gardaí.
“Our members feel besieged and abandoned while lawbreakers and criminals seem empowered and emboldened.”
https://www.independent.ie/irish-news/news/dramatic-footage-shows-garda-car-rammed-as-officers-respond-to-reports-of-dangerous-driving-in-dublin-suburb-42002586.html Cherry Orchard: Garda car rammed as officers respond to reports of dangerous driving in suburban Dublin