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Dublin: 9 °C Thursday 22 March, 2018

Crack cocaine operation the focus of garda raid which left officer with gunshot wounds

Three people were arrested following the shooting.

A SUSPECTED CRACK cocaine dealing ring was dealt a blow yesterday in a raid which left a garda injured.

The elite member of the garda’s Emergency Response Unit was shot in the arm as officers carried out a raid on a premises as part of an operation targeting drug gangs.

Yesterday morning, gardaí attempted to gain access to a house in Barnwell Drive, Ballymun, when they were fired upon. One member was hit while an 18-year-old man who was inside the house also received gunshot wounds.

Three people have been arrested in relation to the shootings and are being held under Section 30 of the Criminal Justice Act.

Both the injured garda and the man were given first aid and both are expected to make a full recovery. It is believed the young man was not a resident of the house.

The house was also targeted in a drive-by shooting last month. A teenager was injured in that incident which was believed to have been part of a recent outbreak of gang-related violence in the Ballymun area.

In the last 12 months, a number of gangs have been battling to control a large area of the Ballymun drug trade. There have been a number of beatings and shootings in the last year in relation to this feud, one which gardaí fear could result in deaths.

Gardaí have been working to quell the feud over the last six months. In this period, they have made significant drug and cash seizures as well as a number of arrests.

Yesterday morning, officers were attempting to knock down a reinforced door when they were first fired upon. The house had extra security, including the installation of bullet proof glass, in place following last month’s shooting which left a young man injured with a gunshot wound to the abdomen.

When gardaí gained entry to the premises, a number of shots were fired. The initial shots missed the officers, however shortly afterwards a garda received a gunshot wound to the arm. The young man was also injured at this point.

It is understood that the people inside the house had initially thought the house was being targeted by local criminals and did not know they were gardaí.

Crack cocaine dealing has become more prevalent in the area in recent months and gardaí have been attempting to respond to it by carrying out raids on premises where they believe drugs are being stashed.

garda 857_90531279_90531289 Gardaí at the scene of the shooting in Barnwell Drive in Ballymun. Source: Sam Boal/

A gun was recovered from the scene and is being tested by garda ballistic officers.

The Garda Representative Association (GRA) tweeted: “Let there be no doubt about the threat to life that is faced down by frontline members every day. Speedy recovery to the injured ERU garda.”

GRA spokesperson John O’Keeffe told “The shooting incident in Ballymun this morning is a clear example of the real danger to life that is faced by all our members on a daily basis.

Whether armed or unarmed, frontline gardaí know that then they say goodbye to their loved ones each day, they cannot guarantee their own safe return at the end of every shift. Yet they protect and serve without fear or favour, on all our behalf.

“The thoughts and prayers of the GRA are with the injured ERU officer and his family today as we wish him a speedy recovery.”

Minister for Justice Charles Flanagan said that “incidents like this highlight the danger that can face members of An Garda Síochána in carrying out their duties”.

“The work of uniformed gardaí and the special units is critical in keeping people safe and tackling serious criminals whose activities can destroy communities.”

An investigation has been launched and GSOC has been notified of the incident.

Read: Three people arrested after garda and another man injured in Dublin shooting >

Read: David Mahon loses appeal against seven year sentence for killing of stepson Dean Fitzpatrick >

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