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Dublin: 10 °C Wednesday 22 May, 2019
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Baseball bat attack on garda 'would have been prevented if he had a taser'

The Garda Representative Association said its members should no longer be “punching bags for every criminal who wants to take a pot shot”.

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THE BODY REPRESENTING rank-and-file gardaí has called for frontline officers to be provided with tasers after a violent assault on a garda in south Dublin yesterday evening.

Two gardaí were attempting to conduct a search of a man on Ballyogan Avenue in south Dublin when a large group gathered. One of the officers was struck with a metal baseball bat a number of times, sustaining injuries to his face, head and body.

He remains in Tallaght Hospital today receiving treatment for his injuries. A second garda was also bitten by a dog at the same location and attended hospital last night.

Responding to the incident, communications director for the Garda Representative Association John O’Keeffe told TheJournal.ie that this “latest vicious attack” comes as no surprise.

“The association has called for the roll out of non-lethal tasers for some years now. A taser would almost certainly have prevented the horrific injuries that have left one garda in hospital having been hit with a metal baseball bat. Another garda is now recovering from a vicious dog bite.

Those who attack our frontline in this way are a throwback to ancestral man. Many are incapable of obeying simple instructions from an officer of the peace and so we must protect these brave uniformed men and women as best we can – and according to best international practices. The truth is that when we fail to protect our gardaí, we fail all of society.

O’Keeffe said a mere warning using the red dot from the device’s laser would ensure compliance without the need to discharge a taser.

“Where there is no compliance, gardaí will at least have a fighting chance of protecting themselves,” he said.

Frontline gardaí can no longer be punching bags for every criminal who wants to take a pot shot.

O’Keeffe said it is “time we recognised this and equipped all our gardaí accordingly before other innocent gardaí are injured – or lose their lives”.

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