According to Freedom of Information figures released to Newstalk, 243 members of An Garda Síochana have been assaulted since 2021 – and the issue is getting worse.
The figures, which were revealed by the Garda Representative Association (GRA), include 23 bone fractures or dislocations, 17 open wounds, and 102 bruises, grazes or bites. One Garda received multiple serious injuries.
In total, there was a 17% increase in assaults since 2021.
Some 285 gardaí were assaulted on duty last year – a 17% increase on the year before. https://t.co/VInPdmERhY
— NewstalkFM (@NewstalkFM) January 19, 2023
According to GRA spokesman Garda Damien McCarthy, the problem has been deteriorating in recent years, calling it a “massive issue.”
“It is a massive issue because we’ve seen in the recent past that there has been a massive societal change in terms of the levels of violence that Gardaí are experiencing on the street,” he told Newstalk.
“…I think it is a significant problem that has to be addressed.”
The Garda went on to identify weak sentencing in the courts as an issue, urging a stronger “deterrent” to ensure that the situation doesn’t “spiral out of control.”
“We need action in terms of new legislation to ensure that there are adequate pieces of legislation to protect frontline public service workers,” he said.
“I think the legislation should act as a deterrent. It is not working at the moment and stronger measures are needed in legislation to ensure that those who attack frontline service workers are prosecuted.”
The news comes mere months after a viral video showed two Gardaí, including a female, being assaulted by assailants in Ballyfermot.
After intervening in an incident outside a pub on the area’s main street, the male Garda was hospitalised with head injures, while the female Garda also sustained unspecified damage.
The incident came just weeks after the infamous Cherry Orchard incident, in which joyriding youths were filmed repeatedly ramming a Garda car in broad daylight in the Dublin area.