Public Order Unit ready to intervene in Cherry Orchard after a Garda vehicle was rammed, Commissioner Drew Harris warns

An incident in which two Gardaí in a patrol car were rammed by another vehicle at Cherry Orchard in Dublin has been described as “disgraceful” and “worrying” by the Garda Commissioner.

Rew Harris added that the Public Order Department was “standing up” and ready to deal with the escalating anti-social behavior in the Cherry Orchard area in recent weeks, with plans to deal with the problems surrounding the early Halloween be expected around time.

“The Public Order Unit has been set up. It was put up over the weekend but now it will be up and available,” Mr Harris said.

Mr Harris said the two officers in the squad car were unharmed.

Video shared online shows joyriders speeding up and down a street in Cherry Orchard before a squad car arrives and is rammed.

“It is a disgrace and a very worrying incident and I am pleased to report that the two Garda members in the vehicle were unharmed,” the commissioner said today at the National Plowing Championships in Co Laois.

“And they were able to summon help, which arrived quickly to restore order to the Cherrywood area.”

His comments came as Gardaí officials described the scenes as “disgraceful” and said the two Gardaí involved were traumatized.


Garda Commissioner Drew Harris

Mr Harris said there had been “heavy” police operations in the area and did not accept that the Gardaí involved had insufficient resources.

“That first car was the first reaction, but in the end we had 11 cell phones deployed and that restored order to the whole area,” he said.

“I would say there has been heavy police action in that area in recent weeks and we have been impounding vehicles, arrests have been made and people are being tried for driving offenses and other anti-social behavior offences, and then related offences with the drug trade”.

Mr Harris added: “A lot of enforcement work has been done and a full investigation is currently underway, but we also have to look at tonight and the nights that follow.

“What we’ve done is to bring forward our operation and response to the unfortunate rise in anti-social behavior in and around the Halloween period, that’s where it starts.

“We want to reassure everyone in Ireland, but especially those in the local area, that we are there, calling us and reporting incidents and sending us information.”

His comments came as the head of the Association of Garda Sergeants and Inspectors (AGSI) said there was an “inherent danger” to members of the force if people were “openly encouraged” to ram squad cars.

The incident happened just after 7.30pm yesterday when Gardaí were made aware of several cars driving dangerously in the Cherry Orchard area. Footage shared on social media shows onlookers cheering, with some encouraging drivers to ‘ram’ the approaching Garda car.

ASGI President Antoinette Cunningham described the scenes and said the incident should be “condemned” across the board.

“Large groups of youth cheering on others driving a stolen car and encouraging ramming Gardaí in the area. Members who are complying with their legal duty and are subject to this type of behavior; it should be condemned by all politicians and community leaders in the region. It’s very, very upsetting to see,” she said.

Ms Cunningham said similar incidents happen occasionally but argued social media played a “huge” role last night and the “concern” is that it “fosters copycat-type incidents”.

She said young people and viewers “feel empowered by these videos and it encourages more of the same kind of behavior”.

“It’s not just about condemning what happened last night, it’s also about finding a solution to these problems to make sure we try very hard that they don’t happen again,” she told RTÉ Tomorrow Ireland.

“Because they are totally unacceptable. They are unacceptable to society and they are unacceptable to the Gardaí in the area.”

Ms Cunningham said there were “normal decent people” in communities across the country who are trying to “live their lives” and therefore “community leaders and gardaí need to come together to try to find a solution to this”.

She added: “It’s easy to condemn, but the hard work is finding ways to ensure this type of behavior doesn’t continue.

“Long-term solutions are required here. There is an inherent danger when you see people’s open encouragement to ram patrol cars. Then one wonders where the respect for the rule of law lies, where the Gardaí have their legitimate position in society to adopt such behavior and to be able to respond and address it sufficiently and to be adequately resourced in such cases to be that happens.

“Those are the things we need to look at because they’re all about the safety of our members and the people who were on duty last night to make sure that when a call like this comes in appropriately, right, they can , react quickly and quickly to gain control of a situation.”

We only have to look at the Memorial Wall and the Garda Memorial Gardens to know how many guards actually died due to people being dangerous with vehicles

In a statement last night, 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.”

Gardaí have appealed to the public who witnessed this incident to come forward and provide any camera or dashcam footage for Gardaí’s investigation.

Brendan O’Connor, President of the Garda Representative Association, said this morning there was a “rising tide” of people ready to “challenge, confront and attack” Gardaí.

“We saw vehicles used as weapons to attack our members last night and unfortunately all we have to do is look at the memorial wall and the Garda Memorial Gardens to know how many guards actually lost their lives because of people vehicles used dangerously or recklessly,” he said.

“I have to commend my colleague who drove this car and I believe the driver was not properly trained. So that is another issue for our members. We have to look at this holistically as a conversation, but if you look at it holistically from the Garda perspective and from the perspective of our members, we have the perfect storm.

“We have insufficient availability of resources to respond to what has been reported. Responding Gardaí may be in an inappropriate vehicle, there is a problem with driver training. Therefore, I must commend the driver of the vehicle and the observer who managed to extricate themselves from this danger and ensure that the situation did not result in serious injuries.”

Mr O’Connor said “these guards were traumatized and exposed to danger” and it raised “all kinds of questions” about “equipment, training and protocols”.

He added: “We have emergency responders because the regular front-line units are so briefly exhausted. So we often also have our control room staff who are put in an impossible position because this call has to be handled on the screen and they can only send the resources that are available and that we now often see also inexperienced young gardaí, alone, without support to establish the fact and if you leave you will be faced with extreme danger, extreme violence and attacks and you will be unable to respond.”

The incident was condemned by local politicians, who called for more resources to address the root causes of anti-social behavior in the area.

Hazel De Nortúin, Councilor for People Before Profit, wrote on Twitter last night: “Pictures and video of the events at Cherry Orchard will be shared tonight. There is no other way to describe it than that it is horrifying and traumatizing for the residents of this area. It’s been like this for a long time and we’ve all addressed it.”

Fianna Fáil’s Councilor Daithí Doolan said: “Terrifying scenes at Cherry Orchard tonight. I hope it serves as a wake up call. This community has been ignored for too long. Urgently needs resources and support from Government and Senior Gardaí.”

Meanwhile, Dublin South Green Party TD Patrick Costello said incidents like last night are the reason local representatives have urged the Minister for Children and the Minister of State for Community Development to visit the area.

“Some local representatives have worked together to create more resources for the community. That’s why we asked Roderic O’Gorman and Joe O’Brien to take a first-hand look at the issues. I will ask once again for immediate support and resources,” he wrote. Public Order Unit ready to intervene in Cherry Orchard after a Garda vehicle was rammed, Commissioner Drew Harris warns

Fry Electronics Team

Fry is an automatic aggregator of the all world’s media. In each content, the hyperlink to the primary source is specified. All trademarks belong to their rightful owners, all materials to their authors. If you are the owner of the content and do not want us to publish your materials, please contact us by email – The content will be deleted within 24 hours.

Related Articles

Back to top button