Ballyfermot ramming shows 'how vulnerable and exposed' female Gardaí were - GRA

Garda Commissioner Drew Harris described the scenes on Monday as 'disgraceful'
Jack Quann
Jack Quann

16.56 20 Sep 2022

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Ballyfermot ramming shows 'how...

Ballyfermot ramming shows 'how vulnerable and exposed' female Gardaí were - GRA

Jack Quann
Jack Quann

16.56 20 Sep 2022

Share this article

Scenes in a housing estate in west Dublin are something Gardaí have to deal with on an on-going basis.

That's according to the head of the Garda Representative Association (GRA), Brendan O'Connor.

He was speaking after events in a Ballyfermot on Monday were described as 'disgraceful' and 'very concerning' by Garda Commissioner Drew Harris.


Videos shared widely on social media show two cars speeding through the estate - one of the cars can be seen performing a high-speed handbrake turn while a crowd gathers to watch.

As a Garda car arrives with its lights flashing, both cars continue to drive erratically, refusing to stop for the officers.

After one of the cars drives directly at the Gardaí, before turning away and speeding off, the second car rams the Garda vehicle head-on.

Mr O'Connor told Lunchtime Live this isn't anything new.

"The members... are telling us about this sort of thing arises [sic].

"It's not uncommon for Gardaí to be jeered and shouted at and roared at, where crowds of young people congregate.

"So it's a societal change and it's a cultural thing - I suppose there's a lot less respect for police across the globe.

"But it's disturbing when you see it laid bare - it's described to you but a picture paints a thousand words.

"To see a live video - and to see how vulnerable and how exposed two young, female Gardaí on their own in that scenario - is a very sobering image to see.

"And it's just very concerning".

He said hopefully drawing attention to this behaviour will make it stop.

"It's drawing attention to and educating the wider public to what residents in that area, and young people and the Gardaí that police it, are aware of or being exposed to.

"I suppose the problem has been highlighted, so maybe hopefully we'll see some sort of concerted effort to address these issues.

"But it was very, very disturbing to see our colleagues being subjected to such a vicious attack, and such a hostile mob gathering and egging on the drivers of those cars.

"It didn't come as a shock to Gardaí, but it's a starck thing to see what Guards are exposed to.

"And I suppose it's good for the public to understand what our members have to deal with on an on-going basis".

'No capacity to respond'

Mr O'Connor said there are several elements that need to be improved on the force.

"There's fewer Guards on the frontline, so we're asking more of less people - and the demands are greater.

"We have Guards in a lot of these urban areas just going from call to call to call to call, dealing with a backlog.

"Rather than being proactive out there.

"When the problem occurs initially, as you saw last night, there's not a capacity to respond to it.

"And then the effort taken to try to win back these situations, it's not as desirable as preventing them in the first place".

And he said investment has to be made in equipment such as body cameras, better driver training and stronger vehicles - "not just standard family saloons."

"All the things that the GRA and our members tried to bring attention to, they all kind of came together in this situation last night - and this exposes all the problems that we try to highlight", he added.

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Ballyfermot Brendan O'Connor Cherry Orchard Female Gardaí GRA Garda Representative Association Gardai West Dublin

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