It later emerged that the 23-year-old man was a suspect for a
raid on a shop a short time earlier, during which it is
alleged the weapon was swung towards a shop assistant.
Garda Paul Burke yesterday described how he had realised the
man was carrying the butcher’s knife in the middle of the day
in Dundalk because “the light flashed on the blade”.
Garda Burke and Garda Sergeant Eugene Collins were in a
community policing van on Monday, Oct 14, when they saw the
man “in an altercation with another man”.
He said: “We parked near him on Distillery Lane and he walked
in front of the van. We could see he had white socks on his
hands and the cleaver was in his left hand. I saw it because
the light flashed on the blade.”
The gardaí got out and shouted at him to put down the knife,
which had a 15cm by 110cm blade, but he ran off towards the
busy Ramparts Rd.
Sgt Collins said: “He had his hood up and ran. We went after
him and then he stopped and turned towards us with the knife
held up in the air. We shouted again for him to drop it.”
The gardaí were armed only with their regulation batons. “The
traffic had stopped on the road and everybody had got out to
see what was happening. It was 3.25 in the afternoon,” said
After a stand-off, the man did drop the cleaver but “would not
step back from it. He was standing over it,” Sgt Collins said.
The gardaí edged closer to him and he was pepper- sprayed and
The same gardaí later brought the man to Our Lady of Lourdes
Hospital because they feared he had taken a large amount of
drink and possibly drugs.
After the man was released from hospital, gardaí interviewed
him and a file is being prepared for the DPP.
Garda Burke said: “It was just another normal day in Dundalk.
When I go to work, I know I can end up at any sort of
situation. You just deal with what is in front of you.”
He said the stand-off reminded him of the daily safety issues
both gardaí and the public face.
Garda Superintendent Gerry Curley said: “I commend th