Two gardaí remain in hospital following west Dublin shooting

Man in custody after firing from home during armed siege at housing estate in west Dubli

Eyewitness footage has captured the scene of a shooting in Clonsilla, Dublin, where two gardaí were shot and injured after a man opened fire from his home. Video: Storyful/Reuters

 

Two gardaí injured in a shooting that led to an armed siege in west Dublin remain in hospital with non-life threatening gunshot wounds.

Gardaí were in a housing estate in Clonsilla when a man opened fire from his home with an automatic weapon on Tuesday evening, causing several gardaí to take cover.

The incident at Whitechapel Grove ended after an armed stand-off that lasted for several hours and involved specialist armed units, the Garda helicopter and the Garda negotiator unit.

The suspect peacefully surrendered some time after 9pm following protracted conversations with a negotiator and was taken to Blanchardstown Garda station.

One of the injured gardaí was wounded in the hand and the other in the leg or foot. They are being treated at Connolly Hospital Blanchardstown.

In an update on Twitter on Wednesday morning, the Garda said the two members remained in hospital for treatment for the gunshot wounds.

A Garda spokesman also confirmed the man arrested following the siege remains in custody.

Local Sinn Féin TD Paul Donnelly said it was a “miracle” nobody was killed during the incident given the individual had fired an automatic weapon “indiscriminately” out of a window.

“The estate is literally just behind my house, it’s a very built-up area, with kids always walking by,” he said.

The shooting was a “disgraceful” attack on the Garda and “absolutely horrendous” for the people living in the area as well. “A stray bullet could have gone anywhere,” he said.

The Garda Síochána Ombudsman Commission (Gsoc), a watchdog body, has been formally notified of the incident, as is standard practice.

A Gsoc spokeswoman confirmed it “has received notification of a firearm discharge in Blanchardstown, Dublin 15 involving a Garda incident on 25 May”.

“At this stage we are doing early inquiries and have nothing further to add at this time,” she said.

Gardaí initially went to the house to investigate reports of an incident. The suspect, who is known to gardaí, barricaded himself inside the house and refused to co-operate with officers before opening fire on them.

Gunshots were exchanged between armed gardaí and the suspect at one point. At least eight shots were fired from the window of the house towards gardaí as they stood in the street. A weapon was recovered at the scene.

Images shared on social media from members of the public showed gardaí taking cover being cars following the gunshots.

Garda reinforcements, including uniformed gardaí in patrol cars and the Armed Support Unit, arrived, while the Garda helicopter also monitored the scene.

Taoiseach Micheál Martin led tributes in the Dáil to the injured gardaí, saying the incident “illustrates once again the extraordinary commitment and contribution of An Garda Siochána to public well-being and public interest”.

He said it showed that “around every corner as gardaí go about their duties one never knows what can befall them”. Mr Martin wished the gardaí a speedy recovery and thanked An Garda Siochána “for their consistent support of the public interest and of our citizens”.

Sinn Féin leader Mary Lou McDonald, Ceann Comhairle Seán Ó Fearghaíl and Social Democrats joint leader Catherine Murphy were also among those who extended good wishes to the gardaí and the community in the Dáil.

In a statement, Tánaiste Leo Varadkar said he wanted to “commend the bravery of the gardaí who were injured in the shooting incident in Clonsilla and wish them a speedy recovery”.

“This shooting was a horrifying incident in a residential area of west Dublin. It must have been terrifying for those living in the area and those passing through,” he said.

Mr Varadkar, a TD for Dublin West, commended the Garda response “in bringing this incident under control so swiftly through successful negotiations”.

Garda Commissioner Drew Harris also commended the officers involved and noted “the bravery of the two detectives who were first on scene”.

“This was another in a long line of examples of gardaí putting themselves on the line to keep people safe. I want to wish them a speedy recovery,” he said.

Frank Thornton, the president of the Garda Representative Association, said the incident “brings into focus the very real and ever present danger that every garda is exposed to when performing their duty”.

In a statement on Wednesday, the GRA said it was on record as fully supporting the policing model which utilises well-equipped and highly trained Armed Support Units as the primary response to firearm incidents.

Mr Thornton said: “In addition we believe that there also remains a necessity for armed and appropriately trained members at a local level.

“The capability to provide immediate protection for colleagues and contain critical incidents pending the arrival on scene of more specialised units, is an absolute necessity in terms of protecting the first members to arrive at scene who are most often unarmed.”