Two security guards were recovering tonight after being shot outside a hospital in central Dublin.
One of the guards was hit in the shoulder and the other in the arm in the attack at St James’s Hospital at 4.30am this morning.
When gardaí arrived at the scene medical staff were already tending to the victims’ wounds, which are not thought to be life-threatening.
The men are now being treated in the hospital for their injuries and are said to be in a stable condition.
Siptu spokesman Kevin McMahon said the shooting of the two guards – both members of the union – highlighted the safety risks faced by hospital security staff.
“While it is unusual for our members to be shot in such circumstances, security work at hospitals has become very demanding and dangerous in recent years.
“Often the public do not realise how difficult the situation can be.”
He added: “Such incidents are as much an attack on the health services as on the individual victims concerned.
“A safe working environment is something we are all entitled to and nowhere moreso than in the hospitals that care for the health and safety of all of our citizens.”
A spokesman for St James’s said that the hospital was co-operating fully with a Garda investigation into the incident.
Hospital services were not affected.