INCIDENTS of gardaí discharging firearms are rare in Ireland.
When a garda does open fire, the incident is always and immediately investigated by GSOC, the independent statutory body that provides oversight of policing in Ireland.
Such firearms incidents accounted for just 5% of referrals to the Garda Síochána Ombudsman Commission in 2018, according to the most recent report published by the body.
The most recent high profile case was in Dublin, when gardaí shot dead Mark Hennessy after he had abducted and killed Jastine Valdez in May 2018.
A team of investigators from Cork’s GSOC office travelled to Dublin to conduct an investigation into that incident.
In that case, Senior Investigator Nicholas Harden told Coroner Myra Cullinane at Dublin Coroner’s Court last year that the garda who shot him would not be prosecuted.
Following last night’s incident in Mallow, gardaí referred the case to GSOC, under Section 102 of the Garda Síochána Act 2005.
GSOC investigators arrived in Mallow last night and continued working on the case today.
They have appealed for witnesses, from the public, to give an account of what took place and are seeking any available video footage from the area.
The man shot by gardaí is also likely to be interviewed.
Such investigations will focus on whether the discharge of the firearms was lawful and necessary, and if there were any potential offences under the Section 8 of the Firearms and Offensive Weapons Act 1990, which covers the reckless discharge of a firearm.
THE MALLOW INCIDENT:
One shot was discharged by gardaí, hitting a man in his 40s in the shoulder.
He was taken to Cork University Hospital but did not suffer serious injury.
The injured was one of two arrested.
The shooting occurred after a car failed to stop at a checkpoint at around 8.30pm.
A substance believed to be crack cocaine was seized. It will be now be sent away for analysis.
The car was being driven into Mallow town when it came across the garda checkpoint and the incident unfolded from there.
The men are being held under Section 2 of the Criminal Justice (Drug Trafficking) Act, 1996.