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A garda car was surrounded bikers at Tynan Hall Grove.

Ballyfermot violence: Garda injured as he tried to help woman 'knocked down' by motorbike

One of the gardaí was hospitalised when a crowd of young people watching several motorbikes performing stunts in the centre of the Dublin suburb turned on the officers.

TWO GARDAÍ CAME under attack when they got out of their patrol car to help a woman who was allegedly struck by a motorcyclist taking part in a post funeral demonstration in Ballyfermot yesterday, The Journal has learned. 

One of the gardaí was hospitalised when a crowd of young people watching several motorbikes performing stunts in the centre of the Dublin suburb turned on the officers.

Video has circulated of the incident in which the plain clothes officers – wearing blue garda stab vests – were attacked. The videos do not show the incident in which the woman was knocked down but sources have confirmed the sequence of events. 

It is understood that one of the gang, driving a motorbike, struck the woman who was wheeling a pram, knocking her to the ground. 

The gardaí emerged from their unmarked patrol car and were subsequently confronted by a group of young men and boys – it was at this point an item was thrown at the garda who suffered a facial injury. 

His partner called for assistance through the garda radio system and colleagues from across the city moved into the area. At the time, the two gardaí were isolated as the gang continued to throw missiles at them.

The incident yesterday in Ballyfermot is the latest in a series in the general area, the most high profile seeing a garda car rammed by a stolen vehicle in nearby Cherry Orchard in September 2022 as onlookers cheered. Charges have been brought against a number of boys in relation to that case. 

Screenshot 2023-02-21 13.21.23 (1) A gang of youths attacking a garda, centre of the image, as he protects his colleague, to the right of the screen, who has just been injured.

Garda sources working in the area have said that little has changed despite promises of action from politicians and garda leaders – with almost daily incidents of violence recorded against their colleagues.


Yesterday’s attack on gardaí followed a funeral in the area after which a group of mostly boys and young men gathered in the centre of Ballyfermot on motorbikes and scooters. 

Several videos showed them driving erratically around the area and through traffic while wearing significant face coverings.

The videos, shot by people in the crowd, showed them confronting and attacking gardaí on foot and in cars. One video showed youths smashing up a garda car parked in a garage forecourt. 

Gardaí are also seen in other footage arresting a number of youths while the person filming them remonstrated with gardaí.

A gang of youths on motorbikes also drove to a local roundabout where they revved their engines, chopping up the landscaped flower beds.

Yesterday’s day time incident was just the culmination of several attacks on gardaí over recent days – in another incident a patrol car came under attack while youths watched a stolen vehicle be driven dangerously through a Ballyfermot community during the week.

Speaking to The Journal this morning, Garda Representative Association President Brendan O’Connor paid tribute to his injured colleague who was taken to hospital for treatment.   

“The dedication and courage of the Gardaí who got out of their car to provide assistance to a member of the public is indicative of the commitment to service and the calibre of individuals this association is proud to represent.

“The danger they faced and the injury sustained by our colleague is a reminder of the dangers faced by Gardaí everyday and demonstrates the need to have adequate numbers on duty to ensure that sufficient backup can be called upon when theses incidents occur.

“Effective policing must have a capability to respond to escalating threats to public order and the safety of communities,” he said. 

At a press conference this morning in Dublin, Taoiseach Leo Varadkar said that he believes that the attacks on gardaí is a “normalisation of violence in our society”.

He added that there needs to be “a national conversation about what’s driving this anger and this violence”.

“Unfortunately it is not just happening to gardaí. I do feel there’s been an increase just in general violence in our society,” he said. 

Varadkar said he agreed with Tánaiste Micheál Martin’s previous call for a special taskforce to be set up to examine assaults against gardaí and what measures may need to be introduced to protect them. 

“At the outset, I just want to condemn unreservedly the attack on a member of An Garda Síochana. Gardaí keep our streets safe… keep us safe.

“It’s just terrible to see any of them being injured in the course of their work.

We are taking action on this. In addition to the additional gardaí that are being hired this year, we’re going to bring in legislation to bring in body cameras which would give gardaí some protection.

“I know [Acting Justice] Minister [Simon] Harris has had some engagement on the task force. So I’m not fully up to date on where he is on that, but certainly I would agree with the Tánaiste that it is a good idea,” he added. 

Screen Shot 2023-02-20 at 21.16.27 A general view of some of the crowd at the event.

Garda operation

A source, with knowledge of the garda policing operation in the Ballyfermot area, said that gardaí had initially adopted an approach to keep watch of the funeral and its aftermath. 

Other sources have said that a group of well-known criminals, involved in organised crime, were central to orchestrating attacks on gardaí.

It’s understood that gardaí have already collected images and videos relating to the incident and started the process of identifying those in the crowd. 

This morning, a garda spokesperson said that the force did not have any updates on its statement from yesterday.

The original garda statement said that a policing plan was put in place to deal with a scheduled event in the area.

“During the course of this event a number of incidents of dangerous driving and reckless endangerment were observed by Gardaí,” it read. 

“While intervening in one of these incidents, a member of An Garda Síochána was struck with a missile and has subsequently received medical treatment.

“Two Garda vehicles, a Community Policing Patrol Car and a Marked Patrol Car received significant damage while present at this event.

“Two men were arrested on the Kylemore Road in relation to incidents of dangerous driving and two motorbikes were seized. Both males were taken to Garda Stations in South Dublin and have since been released pending file to the DPP,” a spokesperson said.  

With reporting from Christina Finn.