Calls to ‘give frontline gardaí stun guns’ following bottle attack on garda in Dublin

There have been fresh calls to arm frontline gardaí with electric stun guns after a man used a bottle to attack a garda.

Calls to ‘give frontline gardaí stun guns’ following bottle attack on garda in Dublin

The officer received injuries to his leg and had to be hospitalised, where he received a number of stitches to the wound.

The attack took place in Cabra, north Dublin, after gardaí responded to a call that a car was on fire at New Campbell’s Bridge at 5.30am.

A Garda spokesman said that one garda was “attacked by a man in his 30s, who assaulted him with what is believed to be a bottle”. He said the garda, based in Finglas Garda Station, was taken to Connolly Hospital. After receiving stitches, he was discharged.

A man in his 30s was arrested and detained at Finglas station where he was questioned under section 4 of the Criminal Justice Act.

“We believe that now is the time for a Taser to be given to every member of An Garda Síochána on the frontline,” said a spokesman for the Garda Representative Association.

Currently, the electric shock guns are only provided to special armed squads, like the Emergency Response Unit and Regional Support Units.

The spokesman said statistics in New Zealand, where Tasers were provided to all police, show that for every nine times a Taser is taken out, it is only charged once.

“It indicates that taking it out alone is enough to calm down any situation,” he said.

Currently, gardaí are armed with an ASP (extendable baton) and pepper spray.

“An ASP is a crude, blunt instrument and a pepper spray is not always effective,” said the spokesman. He said there is no graduated response between that and, for detectives, a gun.

“A bottle or a glass can be a fatal weapon, not much different to a knife,” he said. “If someone is armed with a machete, how do you combat that with an ASP?”

He said gardaí “face danger on behalf of the public every day” and that society should afford them every protection. He called for the compilation of garda assault figures.

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