No arrests yet after ‘terrifying’ Garda car ramming in Cherry Orchard, west Dublin
Footage of the incident that has been widely shared on social media shows the Garda vehicle being struck as a patrol responded to reports of several cars being driven dangerously in the area
Gardaí have said there have been no arrests this morning after what were described as “terrifying” scenes in Cherry Orchard last night involving a Garda car being rammed.
Footage of the incident that has been widely shared on social media shows the Garda vehicle being struck as a patrol responded to reports of several cars being driven dangerously in the area shortly after 7.30pm.
Commenting on the one of the videos, Cllr Alan Hayes said: “Cherry Orchard this evening. People cheering wanting car thieves to ram the Gardai.
“So many decent people being held hostage in their own community by an absolute minority.
“These are Japanese imported cars,” he added. “Easy to steal. If you have one, get an immobiliser & alarm.
On Newstalk Breakfast this morning, the Chair of the local Joint Policing Committee, Councillor Daithí Doolan, said the local community is being traumatised by a minority.
“They are terrorised,” he said.
“I mean they were on the phone to me long before that video was watched by people.
“People were ringing me in tears, frustrated – but this is night after night after night and this is going back weeks and months.
“I was up there in January and witnessed this first-hand and bore the brunt of an attack when I was up there standing with the residents and I hope that last night and the video we have seen does land on the desk of the commissioner, does land on the desk of the minister.”
Cllr Hazel De Nortúin said the images and videos that were being shared regarding the incidents in Cherry Orchard were “horrific and traumatising” for residents living in that area.
In a statement, gardaí said that when officers arrived they “observed two vehicles driving erratically”.
"Both vehicles failed to stop when requested to do so by gardaí and one vehicle collided with an official garda vehicle.
"No injuries were reported during the incident.”
Video footage shows a large number of people watching from the roadside as two cars drive at high speed up and down a section of road.
Footage shows a car twice ramming the patrol vehicle before reversing.
Gardaí have appealed to any people who witnessed the incident to come forward. They are appealing to anyone who was travelling in the Cherry Orchard area at this time and who may have camera footage, including dashcam footage, to make it available to investigating gardaí.
Anyone for information is asked to contact Ballyfermot garda station on 01 666 7200, the Garda Confidential Line 1800 666 111, or any garda station.
Gardaí said no arrests have been made and their investigation is ongoing.
Local politicians criticised what they described as scenes of “utter lawlessness”.
Fianna Fáil TD Cormac Devlin said: "Videos posted online tonight show scenes of utter lawlessness in a Dublin community.
"The clips posted online show cars driving erratically and ramming gardaí without any fear or thought for the gardaí on duty.
"This is evidence of the shocking incidents gardaí are forced to deal with as a small proportion of people terrorise a whole community.
"We have to come down much stronger on what is pure lawlessness happening across the capital, and back the gardaí with the resources and legislation to deal with those who behave with no regard for law or life.
"My thoughts are with the gardaí having to deal with those incidents this evening as well as the majority of good people being terrorised by these thugs."
Cllr Doolin told Independent.ie last night, “this hasn’t come out of nowhere”, adding: “It was last night, last week, last month, last year.”
He said the incident underscores the need for more resources in the area to cope with anti-social behaviour, starting with more garda resources.
And while a garda helicopter hovered over the area and the Emergency Response Unit was called in, he said there is only one Garda car available to patrol the entire Ballyfermot area, which he said is unacceptable.
“This wouldn’t be tolerated in Blackrock or Foxrock or Lucan,” he said.
“This is happening on a nightly basis and residents are absolutely terrified.”
He said he hopes the videos of the car-ramming incident will result in a much-needed response from gardaí, Dublin City Council and the Government to tackle the problem.
“We need a plan for the area,” he said.
Cllr Doolin has previously spoken of neighbourhoods “teetering on the edge of lawlessness” and told a meeting of the Dublin City Council Joint Policing Committee in July that residents are living in constant fear and trauma.
“We’re not talking about individuals in trauma but families and whole communities in trauma from intergenerational issues caused perhaps by drug-related intimidation, addiction, unemployment, mental health, violence, criminality,” he told the meeting.
“If that happens over and over and over again in a concentrated area then the people are living with trauma all the time.
“They are living with violence or the threat of violence all the time and that manifests itself in very clear ways.”
Earlier this month, he spoke of a spate of incidents in which cars are being robbed and burnt out in the area, causing “huge distress” to the people living there, especially the elderly and the parents of young children.
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