A garda suffered swelling and bad bruising to his head, and had his left eye swollen shut, after being subjected to a ferocious beating with metal baseball bat.
The male garda underwent a CT scan on his head in hospital and, while his injuries were not thought to be life-threatening, the extent of the damage is not yet known.
Later, in an attempt to arrest the suspect behind the attack, another garda was bitten in the leg by a dog.
The attacks took place in Carrickmines, south Dublin, after two gardaí, a male and a female, were conducting an operation targeting drug dealing in the general area.
At around 7.30pm on Saturday, one of the gardaí attempted to conduct a drugs search on a male in the Ballyogan area.
The male fled during the search and escaped into a house on Ballyogan Avenue. Gardaí attempted to apprehend him but occupants of the house slammed the door shut. Two youths and an older adult came out of the house, the latter brandishing a black metal baseball bat.
“This individual hit the male garda a number of times to the head, face and body,” said a local source.
During the assault a large number of people descended on the scene and attempted to assault the two gardaí, who had called for backup.
They deployed their batons and incapacitant sprays in a bid to defend themselves while uniformed assistance arrived. Local sources said that, even with reinforcement, gardaí were “greatly outnumbered” by assailants and a tactical withdrawal was ordered in order to avoid the situation escalating.
Gardaí sought a special District Court sitting on Saturday night and at around 11pm secured a warrant to search the house to obtain evidence on the assault.
Officers at Dun Laoghaire Garda Station sought the assistance of the Armed Support Unit. At around midnight, the Garda raid was carried out at the house.
It is understood there were a number of males inside at the time and that they had to be “subdued”. During the confrontations, a dog bit the leg of an ASU member.
The ASU identified the suspect behind the baseball attack and arrested him.
He was removed to Dun Laoghaire Garda Station and held under Section 4 of the Criminal Justice Act 1984. This suspect is known to gardaí from past experience.
Gardaí also managed to locate the baseball bat in the house and removed. It will be examined by the Garda Technical Bureau for DNA and fingerprint tests.
Officers also took a number of phones as it was suspected that people had filmed the baseball bat attacks on their phones.
The garda who was bitten was brought to hospital and received treatment. His colleague is being cared for at Tallaght Hospital.
Sources said his ring finger was broken and that the left side of his head was swollen and badly bruised and that his whole left eye was swollen shut. He also suffered serious swelling in his left shoulder.
Sources indicated that the injuries did not appear to be life-threatening but that the full extent of the damage was not yet clear.
The Garda Representative Association condemned the “vicious attack” and said it underlined again their case for the rollout of Taser weapons to all members.
“A Taser would almost certainly have prevented the horrific injuries that have left one garda in hospital having been hit with a metal baseball bat,” said GRA spokesman John O’Keeffe. “Another Garda is recovering from a vicious dog bite.
“Those who attack our frontline in this way are a throwback to ancestral man. Many are incapable of obeying simple instructions from an officer of the peace and so we must protect these brave uniformed men and women as best we can — and according to best international practices.”
© Irish Examiner Ltd. All rights reserved