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'A despicable attack': Investigation launched after suspected arson attack on garda's home

Significant damage was caused to the outside of the house, but nobody was injured.

Bay Estate area in Dundalk, Co Louth.
Bay Estate area in Dundalk, Co Louth.
Image: Google Street View

Updated Jun 8th 2020, 6:42 PM

GARDAÍ ARE INVESTIGATING after a suspected arson attack at the home of a garda in Dundalk yesterday.

Gardaí and local fire services attended the blaze in the Bay Estate area in Dundalk, Co Louth shortly after 11 pm.

The garda in question lived with his two small children and his wife, who is also pregnant. 

The fire was brought under control by emergency services. There were no reports of injuries, but significant damage was caused to the outside of the house. 

The Garda Representatives Association (GRA) has condemned the attack. 

The GRA said this is the third attack on the home of a garda in the Dundalk area over the past 18 months. 

GRA general secretary, Pat Ennis said: “This was a truly traumatic incident for our member and his family. He had two small children and an expectant wife and had to evacuate the house after neighbours raised the alarm.”

“The current Garda provision for compensation for damage to property arising from work as garda is outdated and grossly inadequate.”

He said the GRA has engaged directly with the Garda Commissioner on this matter in the past. 

“We are now calling on him to expedite this review in light of what happened last night.

This latest incident shows the need for regular risk assessments to be carried out for gardaí investigating violent and serious crime.

 

Justice Minister Charlie Flanagan said the attack on the garda’s home disgusted him. 

“This despicable act demonstrates a reckless disregard for human life and the laws of the land which seek to protect us all. The fact that the attack was against the private family home of a Garda member, with his young family asleep inside, is both sinister and disgusting.

“Members of An Garda Síochána perform vital work, strongly supported by the communities they serve. An attack on a Garda is an attack on the entire community.” 

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 Sinn Féin TD, Ruairí Ó Murchú, who also lives in the Bay Estate has said this “brazen and shocking” incident was “an attack on the whole community”. 

“I want to utterly condemn the actions of those who started this fire. If this attack was targeted because of the Garda’s work, this is an extremely serious, malicious and shocking attack on a family who are well-known and very well respected in this area,” Ó Murchú said in a statement.  

A full examination of the scene is currently being carried out by An Garda Síochána. 

In a statement, gardaí said they are appealing for witnesses are particularly appealing to anyone who was in the Bay Estate area between 10.30pm and 11.30pm last night to come forward.

They are also appealing for information on the movements of a white van in the Bay Estate area earlier in the day, at around 3pm.

Anyone with any information is asked to contact the incident room at Dundalk Garda Station on (042) 938 8400 or the Garda Confidential Line 1800 666 111. 
Investigations into the incident are ongoing. 

With reporting by Garreth MacNamee

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