'It all comes down to resources': Garda calls for more support in Carrigaline 

An investigation is ongoing after gardaí attended a number of incidents in Carrigaline on Saturday night.
'It all comes down to resources': Garda calls for more support in Carrigaline 

An investigation is ongoing after gardaí attended a number of incidents in Carrigaline on Saturday night.

“IF you had sufficient numbers working, that wouldn’t have happened,” a Garda source has said after members of the force were obstructed physically and verbally in an incident in Carrigaline last Saturday evening.

An investigation is ongoing after gardaí attended a number of incidents in Carrigaline on Saturday night.

A spokesperson for An Garda Síochána confirmed that, in the course of making an arrest, three gardaí were obstructed both physically and verbally while carrying out their duties.

It is believed that two female gardaí suffered minor injuries during the incident.

Videos that circulated online showed a large group of young people gathered on the street. Some shouted and appeared to interfere while gardaí attempted to restrain one person. There was also interaction with another person who was in the back of a Garda car.

Last night, a Garda spokesperson also confirmed that during the course of these incidents, a 16-year-old male youth was assaulted by a number of youths.

“He managed to escape his assailants and return home where he was taken by ambulance to Cork University Hospital for treatment on non-life-threatening injuries. He has since been released from hospital,” the spokesperson said.

In follow-up investigations, a male youth — also aged 16 — was arrested yesterday and was detained under Section 4 of the Criminal Justice Act 1984 at Togher Garda Station.

Resources not sufficient

A Garda source told The Echo that garda resources are not sufficient in Carrigaline.

“It was a very unsavoury incident,” he said. “It all comes down to resources. Unfortunately, there is a drag on resources in relation to the protection of Micheál Martin’s house. The guards in Carrigaline, Passage, and Crosshaven are being utilised for that, which means the guards in Carrigaline are then, in turn, covering those areas.”

Sinn Féin TD for Cork South Central Donnchadh Ó Laoghaire said the issue has been raised numerous times in recent months.

“It is absolutely shocking to see gardaí being attacked and injured,” he said. “We have been calling for an increased garda presence in Carrigaline for a long time. The campaign needs to be stepped up.”

The ratio of gardaí to people in the Carrigaline area is around one to 2,000, according to the Garda Representative Association (GRA). It says the average is one garda for every 300-350 people.

A spokesperson for An Garda Síochána said that garda numbers assigned to Cork City Division have increased from 671 in 2014 to 731 by the end of November 2021. The spokesperson added that a further 42 garda members to be released to frontline operational policing roles.

However, the Garda source claimed the new system has, in fact, “resulted in guards spending more time in front of computers than being out on the beat”.

“There are a lot of guards in Cork City, but a lot of them are attached to specialist units,” he said.

'A despicable act'

In a post on social media, the Public Expenditure Minister Michael McGrath condemned what happened over the weekend.

“This assault on three uniformed members of An Garda Síochána was a despicable act,” he stated. “The people who took part in the incident are not in any way representative of our town.

“My heart goes out to the gardaí in question. I wish them a speedy recovery.”

A statement from the GRA read: “Incidents like what we witnessed last weekend in Carrigaline are a reminder of the reality of how dangerous frontline policing is, and again highlights the need for proper, adequate resources.

“As further lockdown restrictions have been implemented in the lead-up to Christmas week, even further pressure will be placed on frontline gardaí.

“This association reiterates the need for mandatory sentencing on all assaults on our members to act as a clear deterrent to those attacking emergency workers on the frontline.”

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