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'This is real life. This is tough': Garda chief praises bravery of two detectives shot during Blanchardstown siege

Two gardaí were shot by a man who barricaded himself inside his house in the Whitechapel area of Dublin 15.

BLANCH SHOOTING 00001 Source: Leah Farrell/RollingNews.ie

BLANCHARDSTOWN CHIEF SUPERINTENDENT Finbarr Murphy has spoken of the bravery shown by gardaí as they dealt with an hours-long siege incident in west Dublin last night. 

Speaking outside Blanchardstown Garda Station in the early hours of this morning, Murphy told the attending press that “tonight is a reminder of the danger gardaí put themselves at” to protect the communities they serve. 

Two gardaí were shot by a man who barricaded himself inside his house in the Whitechapel area of Dublin 15 shortly after 7pm. 

Gardaí said the officers were attending to reports of gunshots in the area when they themselves were fired upon. 

Plain-clothes and uniformed gardaí supported by Armed Support Units responded to the scene. A Garda helicopter also circled the area providing support from above.

A negotiator from the Special Tactics and Operations Command is also understood to have attended the scene. 

An armed plain-clothes unit at the scene came under fire. Gardaí took cover behind a patrol car and an exchange of bullets occurred between the man and the armed detectives.

The patrol car was struck a number of times by bullets.

One garda suffered gunshot injuries to his hand and foot. Another garda suffered injuries to his foot. Both are expected to make full recoveries, senior gardaí said this morning. 

IMG_5555 Superintendent Peter Burke (l) and Chief Superintendent Finbarr Murphy (r) at Blanchardstown Garda Station. Source: Garreth MacNamee

The siege came to an end at around 10pm when the man threw two weapons, a handgun and a submachine gun, out his window.

He then exited the house where he was detained. Both firearms and ammunition have been recovered. The man is being held at Blanchardstown Garda Station.

It’s understood that the man involved in the siege is a known gangland criminal, who has been involved in a years-long feud with another local drug dealer.

Gardaí appealed for a media blackout in order to protect lives as the incident was ongoing last evening. This was observed by most established news outlets, including The Journal

Garda Commissioner Drew Harris commended all the officers involved in the incident for the “successful” outcome of the siege. He paid particular tribute to the “bravery” of the two detectives who were first on scene.

“This was another in a long line of examples of Gardaí putting themselves on the line to keep people safe. I want to wish them a speedy recovery,” Commissioner Harris said.

Speaking this morning, Chief Superintendent Murphy said: “I want to thank them, on behalf of the organisation, for the work they do and the danger they put themselves to make us safe. I say well done tonight, everyone who responded tonight, you did a brilliant job.

“These people have families they have gone to work today and someone had to make a phone call today to tell them what happened.

“It’s real life. It’s tough. It’s very, very important that the community appreciate the work these guards are doing and the level of risk they put themselves at to protect society.”

Taoiseach Micheál Martin also thanked the gardaí for their efforts.

“I was shocked and deeply concerned to learn that two Gardaí were injured in the course of their duties this evening,” he said last night. 

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“I wish both Gardaí a swift and full recovery, and I thank them for their service on behalf of the public.

“This incident in Dublin shows yet again the danger An Garda Síochána often face in their efforts to protect and serve the people. We should always be very grateful for all the work they do on a daily basis on our behalf.”

Any member of the public who has information about the incident or footage from the scene is being asked to contact Blanchardstown Garda Station.

Meanwhile, the president of the Garda Representative Association (GRA), Frank Thornton, wished the two injured gardai “a speedy recovery and I also want to thank every member of the garda organisation who contributed to the operation which saw the incident brought to a conclusion without further injury”.

“It brings into focus the very real and ever-present danger that every garda is exposed to when performing their duty. All members of An Garda Síochána put themselves in harm’s way every day that they go to work in order to protect communities and ensure citizens are kept safe.

“While any incident that results in two members being injured cannot be considered to have been resolved successfully, it is a credit to the collective policing response and the actions of individual members that the incident was brought to a conclusion without further injury or loss of life,” he added.

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