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Drugs unit garda suffers acid attack at hands of heroin gang he's investigating

The officer received minor injuries to his face and hand at the start of last month and gang members separately turned up outside his child’s school.

Image: Shutterstock/Piotr Wytrazek

Updated Jul 5th 2018, 11:26 PM

A MEMBER OF a garda drugs unit was attacked with acid by members of a heroin gang he is investigating, TheJournal.ie understands.

The gang believed to be behind the attack has its own drug distribution network across the country.

The officer has been part of a group of gardai based in north Dublin which has been probing the activities of this criminal gang. The gang’s leaders are from Eastern Europe and investigations into their activities have been ongoing since 2015.

Sources have told TheJournal.ie that the man has received a number of threatening phone calls in the last few months. It is understood the Garda Representative Association (GRA), which represents rank-and-file members of An Garda Síochána, is aware of the threat to the officer’s life and has been offering him support.

He has yet to be issued a Garda Information Message (GIM) – an official warning issued by gardaí to those who are the subject of a serious threat against their personal safety.

Turned up at his child’s school at pick-up time

In recent weeks, the garda has had his property damaged. Soon after that incident, two well-known members of the gang turned up outside his child’s school while the officer was picking his child up.

In the last month, the officer was driving home from work when his car was doused in what medics believe was an acidic solution. His car window was open at the time and he received some first-degree burn injuries as a result. He received treatment in a hospital and was discharged from medics’ care later that day.

It is understood that gardaí had conducted a number of raids on the criminal organisation prior to the officer initially receiving the threatening phone calls. Management believes it is more than likely that this incident was the catalyst for the threatening behaviour.

Sources have said that senior gardaí are aware of what happened and have offered the man leave as a result. Investigations into the incident are ongoing. It is believed that the officer did not make an official criminal complaint in relation to the attack but informed his superiors of what happened.

Acid attacks

The Garda Press Office said it did not have a comment to make.

John O’Keeffe, spokesman for the GRA, told TheJournal.ie: ”The GRA is horrified though not surprised at the level of violence that is directed towards frontline gardai everyday – up to and including acid attacks.

“The criminal fraternity has no fear of attacking gardaí as there is little or no judicial sanction. The association now calls on government to introduce without delay mandatory minimum sentencing for all attacks on our frontline.”

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