Man wounded as off-duty detective fires shot in Dublin altercation

Ombudsman investigating Portobello incident involving officer and three other people


A detective whose gun was discharged, wounding a member of the public, suspected three people he challenged in the street may have just carried out a hotel robbery.

The exact circumstances of the incident in the early hours of Wednesday morning are under investigation.

The Irish Times understands the Garda member involved had placed a radio call requesting back-up only moments before his firearm was discharged.

The incident occurred near the junction of Portobello Road and Kingsland Parade, Portobello, Dublin 8, at about 2am.

The Garda member had been working earlier but had gone off duty and was driving home at the time. Sources said he saw a vehicle travelling towards him with either one or no lights on.

He saw three people in the vehicle and believed they were acting suspiciously as a robbery had occurred about one hour earlier at the Conrad Hotel, Earlsfort Terrace, in the south inner city.

Three masked raiders, two of whom were carrying knives, burst into the hotel at about 1am demanded money from staff. They escaped with a small sum and locked two employees into a cloak room at the hotel.

It appears the detective driving in Portobello planned to stop the car with the three occupants and ask where they were going.

He followed them in his own vehicle for a short period and sought back up. He then got out of his car and challenged the three people in their vehicle, though it was unclear last night how the two vehicles came to s stop.

Garda sources said they believe the detective warned the three occupants of the other vehicle - two men and a woman - he was a Garda member and he was armed.

However, two of them became involved in a scuffle with the detective on the street and during the course of that altercation the gun discharged.

One of the two men was injured in his shoulder or upper arm on the banks of the Grand Canal.

Other gardaí and an ambulance arrived at the scene and the Garda Siochána Ombudsman Commission (Gsoc) was alerted.

Garda Headquarters must refer to Gsoc any cases where a Garda member’s gun discharges. Cases involving serious injury or loss of life at or around the time the injured party had been in contact with Garda members must also be made known to Gsoc.

Gsoc’s investigators took control of the scene, which was sealed off overnight and treated as a crime scene.

Gsoc issued a statement calling for witnesses to the incident to contact them.

“The incident involved a Garda member and three other people and happened at around 2am,” Gsoc said.

“During the course of the incident an official Garda firearm was discharged and a man was injured. He is currently receiving medical attention and his injury is described as non-life-threatening.

It added the incident was referred to GSOC under section 102 of the Garda Síochána Act, 2005.

It provides for independent investigation of “any matter that appears to indicate that the conduct of a member of the Garda Síochána may have resulted in the death of, or serious harm to, a person”.

Anyone who witnessed the incident or may have information about it is asked to contact Gsoc on 1890 600 800.