A member An Garda Síochána is receiving treatment in hospital following a “vicious” and “disturbing” attack in which he and his patrol car were doused in petrol.
Gardaí say they are currently investigating all the circumstances of the assault, which took place in the early hours of Monday morning.
At about 2am, while on patrol in the Loughan, Blacklion, Co Cavan, area the garda contacted colleagues seeking assistance.
Gardaí identified his location through the Garda Automatic Vehicle & Personnel Location System system and uniformed colleagues arrived at the scene, supported by armed support units, a short time later.
The injured garda was found in a disorientated state and he was unable to explain what had happened to him.
His official marked patrol vehicle was found to have a strong smell of accelerant, most likely petrol.
The garda’s uniform was also saturated with the accelerant.
He was rushed to Sligo University Hospital where he continues to be assessed and treated for non-life-threatening injuries.
Gardaí have now sealed off the scene pending an examination by the Garda Technical Bureau later on Monday.
An incident room has also been established at Cavan Garda Station.
‘Very serious and concerning’
Speaking Monday morning, Chief Superintendent Alan McGovern of the Cavan-Monaghan Garda Division said the attack on the unarmed, uniformed garda was “very serious and concerning”.
“Thankfully, the incident has not resulted in a fatality or other serious injury.
“The exact motive for this attack is yet to be determined but it is extremely concerning that a member of An Garda Síochána appears to have been targeted and doused in some form of accelerant, the exact intent of this attack is unknown at this time,” he said.
James Morrisroe, GRA Representative for the Cavan/Monaghan Division, told the Irish Examiner that the attack underscores the dangers faced by on-duty gardaí on a regular basis.
“Our thoughts and concerns at this time are with the injured member and we send the best wishes of all our colleagues for a speedy recovery,” he said.
Mr Morrisroe said both the frequency and viciousness of attacks on gardaí had increased in recent years.
He said the circumstances around Monday’s attack were “disturbing.”
“We now need urgent legislation that acts both as a deterrent and adequate punishment for such attacks and the GRA believe mandatory custodial sentences are required,” he said.
He added that gardaí working alone, particularly those in isolated locations, needed to be assured that their safety