Brendan Smith calls for urgent Garda resources for Cavan following ‘horrific’ attack on Garda

Fianna Fáil TD for Cavan and Monaghan, Brendan Smith, has made a direct appeal for urgent Garda resources for the former Ballyconnell Garda District following a “despicable” attack on a member of the force near Blacklion last week.

In a question to the Tánaiste in the Dáil, Deputy Brendan Smith commented, “There was a horrific and despicable assault on a young member of An Garda Síochána, Padraig Scott, early last Monday morning near Blacklion which has shocked the local community. This was a serious and concerning attack involving the use of an accelerant and possibly a gun. Physical injuries were inflicted on this young garda. Sadly, there has been an increase in the number of vicious assaults on members of An Garda Síochána recently. This attack could have had serious consequences.

The Cavan and Monaghan TD continued: “The Tánaiste will have heard me talk in this House on numerous occasions about the unique policing requirements of the Border region. We have a land border between two jurisdictions with all the additional demands related to policing on both sides thereof. Thankfully, there is good cross-Border policing co-operation between An Garda Síochána and the PSNI today. 

He added: “There is an urgent need for additional Garda resources for the former Ballyconnell Garda District which covers a large rural Border area with a dispersed population. In forthcoming allocation of Garda resources, I appeal to the Government to recognise the needs of this area and I hope the Tánaiste will support this appeal for more resources. In the past, we living in that community suffered far too much due to paramilitary thugs, criminals and murderers and we will not go back there. This criminal element needs to be eradicated quickly.”

In response, the Tánaiste stated: “I join the Deputy in utterly and unreservedly condemning the attack on Garda Scott in County Cavan the other day. The House is united in horror and condemnation of that attack. An attack on the Defence Forces or An Garda Síochána is an attack on all of us because it is an attack on the State. In relation to Garda resources, we have more gardaí in Ireland than ever before and the Garda budget is larger than ever before. 

“That does not mean we do not need to increase it further. We do. I hear what the Deputy says on the need for additional resources for his county but that is a matter for the Garda Commissioner. I will make sure the Minister for Justice, Deputy McEntee, is made aware it was raised here today.”

4th March 2022