Resources plea after garda attack

MINISTER for Justice Dermot Ahern has been called on to ensure gardaí in a Co Cork village are given adequate resources to combat a gang which has burnt the local station twice and thrown a petrol bomb at a garda in a van.

As the gang intensified its efforts to disrupt law and order in Blarney, Deputy Kathleen Lynch (Labour) said it was imperative that as many gardaí as possible were brought into the town to quell “attacks on gardaí and society as a whole”.

Ms Lynch made her comments following the latest attack on a member of the force in the area. A traffic corps Garda in his 30sescaped serious injury after a petrol bomb was thrown into his van shortly after 7pm on Thursday.

Gardaí are still searching for the perpetrator, believed to be 6ft tall and wearing dark clothes and a hoodie, who fled the scene on the Blarney-Tower road.

The Garda Representative Association (GRA) has made an appeal for an immediate recruitment drive following what it said was a marked increase in assaults on gardaí.

GRA vice president Damien McCarthy claimed there was an onus and obligation on the Government to ensure that gardaí were properly equipped and fully resourced to tackle the escalation of serious crime.

Gda McCarthy called for an immediate end to the moratorium on recruitment and promotion within the public service.

Gda McCarthy stressed that the embargo on recruitment was of “grave concern” to the GRA.

He added that the garda in Blarney had undergone a “tremendous ordeal” and was fortunate to have escaped with his life.

Former lord mayor of Cork Joe O’Callaghan said the law-abiding people of Blarney were absolutely outraged and disgusted by what had happened.

He insisted incidents such as the one on Thursday were “completely out of kilter” in what he maintained was the nicest village in Ireland.

Mr O’Callaghan said the ordinary people of Blarney held the local force in the greatest esteem and would not tolerate attacks on members of the Garda Síochána.

“The people in the area will not stand to let the good name of the area go down. The guards are part and parcel of the local population and are held in the highest esteem. The guards are not losing any battle [on crime]. If you have a rat in the dark of night to slink out and throw petrol bombs they can get away with that because like rats they operate in the night and they are afraid to come out in the open,” Mr O’Callaghan said

“But they will be caught,” he added.

Local Fianna Fáil county councillor Daniel Fleming also spoke of his outrage at the incident and said he feared it was related to two arson attacks on Blarney Garda Station which have occurred over the last year.

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