Gardaí bitten and stabbed

Gardaí were injured when they were confronted by a dangerous dog and a man armed with a knife during a drugs search in Co Louth yesterday.

Two of the gardaí received stab wounds while the dog, a pit-bull, bit two of the team.

A man aged 36 remained in Garda custody last night at Drogheda Garda Station.

Gardaí confirmed that the incident unfolded around 9am when detectives from Ardee Garda Station went to carry out a drugs search of a house in Sunhill, Termonfeckin, on foot of a warrant.

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However, when they entered the house, which is detached and in the countryside, a 15-minute drive north of Drogheda, they were met by a man carrying a knife.

A struggle followed, during which two of gardaí were stabbed and two of them were bitten by the dog.

One garda was both bitten and stabbed.

The gardaí went to Our Lady of Lourdes Hospital in Drogheda for treatment and were released later in the day.

The wounds were described as superficial but one garda said: “They were very lucky really.”

A Garda spokesperson said: “This was a very frightening experience for them and they are understandably shaken.”

The Garda operation continued at the house and it uncovered a quantity of cannabis plants that were being grown.

A Garda source also confirmed that an imitation firearm was recovered.

The attack on the gardaí was condemned by Councillor Richie Culhane, a retired detective garda, who said: “This reminds us of how dangerous the job has become for members of An Garda Síochána carrying out their duties such as searching a premises.

“I commend the bravery of these gardaí. But for their training, there could have been fatalities.

“The general public should be aware of who is living in their area and if they see any sort of suspicious or illegal activity they should pass that information on to the gardaí.

“I am horrified and appalled at today’s events.”

Meanwhile, the dog, which as a pit-bull is legally one of the ‘restricted breeds’ which must be muzzled and on a lead if in a public space, was taken to the Louth County Council pound.

It is understood that gardaí may seek to enact a section of the Control of Dogs legislation that would require a district court judge to decide on the dog’s fate.

A dog may also be held and not returned to its owner if a criminal prosecution is pending.

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