GRA wants tougher measures to protect front-line workers after Garda dragged down road by car

A senior member of the Garda Representative Association (GRA) is calling on the Minister for Justice and the Government to introduce specific legislation to cover assault of front line staff such as gardaí, fire service personnel, ambulance crews and accident and emergency department staff.

Damien McCarthy was speaking on RTÉ radio’s Morning Ireland following the serious assault of a garda in Dublin on Wednesday night when he was pulled into a car and dragged along the street.

Mr McCarthy paid tribute to the “sheer diligence and bravery” of the garda who managed to subdue the car’s two occupants and to stop the car by grabbing the hand brake.

“This is a prime example of the difficult life-threatening situations experienced every day by gardaí.”

This was a serious assault, he said, that left a garda “clinging on for dear life.”

The incident occurred in the city centre when members of an Garda Siochána were on mobile patrol.

They saw a car acting suspiciously which sped from the scene. Eventually it stopped and the garda approached it from the passenger side.

He was pulled in through the window and the car reversed from the scene at speed. The garda was not seriously injured.

Mr McCarthy said this morning: “This is not an isolated incident. The same thing happened just over 12 months ago in broad daylight. There was a similar example in Castleblayney, unfortunately, in that case, a man lost his life.”

Mr McCarthy also pointed out a case in Donegal in 2009 when two gardaí lost their lives.

“For several years we have been looking for specific legislation to protect front line workers. People engaged in criminal activity have no respect for law and order and would do anything to get away.”

In the UK there is specific legislation to protect front line workers and something similar should be introduced here, he added.

“The current legislation is outdated and not fit for purpose. The Government needs to stand up.”

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