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Gardaí's home and car targeted as they investigate actions of criminal gang in north-east

Intimidation of officers can be common.

Image: Eamonn Farrell via RollingNews.ie

TWO MEMBERS OF An Garda Síochána have been the victim of threats and intimidation and it is suspected the campaign is being carried out by a criminal gang which they are investigating, TheJournal.ie has learned.

The officers, who are based in the northeast of the country, have had their cars and homes vandalised.

On one occasion, one member’s tyres were slashed and his car keyed. The other garda returned from a night out to find that the front windows of his property had been smashed.

It is thought that the two members were targeted because of an investigation they are helping to conduct. It is looking into the activities of a number of people suspected of a number of illegal enterprises.

The members are not leading the investigation but they were involved in the arrest of one man who was questioned and later released over the discovery of a small quantity of cannabis.

The two officers involved have not made a criminal complaint in relation to the incidents. TheJournal.ie contacted the Garda Press Office which said it had no record of either event as a result of them not appearing on any internal garda system.

The gardaí have informally let their immediate superiors know of the incidents.

At first, the members did not feel the two incidents were related. However, whilst interviewing one of the suspects, one garda was asked how his car was.

Intimidation of officers can be common. The Garda Representative Association has long said that officers repeatedly come under pressure from criminal elements.

In a statement to TheJournal.ie, GRA spokesman John O’Keeffe said that the issue is one that has to be faced by all gardaí of all ranks – uniform or otherwise.

He said: “It is part of their day to operational duties that they may expect that from time to time, threats may be made to both themselves and also their families and friends. It is a very serious matter faced therefore by all our membership during the course of their working careers. It is sadly becoming an ever-increasing aspect of the job.

Clearly the more serious crime that is being investigated the more exposure to risk that is run by our members. The organisation of An Garda Siochana is under a positive obligation to take all reasonable steps in respect of its members whose lives have been threatened and internal procedures are in place for same. Consideration is given to the specific nature of the threat, its probable time frame and any measures that may need to be taken in order to lessen the threat risks.

“Everyday, our members walks towards danger so that the public may walk away. They often work in a hostile environment and everything needs to continue to be done as between ourselves and garda management, to put every protection in place to ensure all their safety.

“In this regard we once more call for the issuing of Tasers to all frontline gardaí alongside the introduction of body cameras for all operational members.”

Read: €250k a year and policing experience ‘not essential’: Search for new Garda Commissioner begins >

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