A member of An Garda Síochána from County Roscommon was threatened with a suspected firearm and beaten before being doused in petrol during an incident in Co. Cavan in the early hours of Monday morning.
The uniformed Garda, a well-known footballer in his late 20s, was set upon after he went to investigate a suspicious vehicle while on patrol near Loughan House Open Prison in the Blacklion area.
The Garda contacted colleagues seeking assistance but was disorientated and unable to explain the exact circumstances of the incident.
Gardaí from the North Western Region Headquarters Control Room identified the member’s location through the Garda Automatic Vehicle and Personnel Location System. He was discovered by members of the regional armed support at around 2 am in a disorientated state while his official marked patrol vehicle was also present nearby.
It is believed he had been lying at the scene for up to half an hour before colleagues arrived.
Gardaí confirmed that there was a strong smell of a flammable accelerant in the air and that the member’s uniform had been saturated with an accelerant and he had signs of physical injuries. He was taken to Sligo University Hospital where he was treated for concussion before being released.
An incident room was established at Cavan Garda Station and the Garda and his family are being provided with support services.
Speaking on Monday morning, Chief Superintendent McGovern of the Cavan/Monaghan Garda Division said: “This is a very serious and concerning attack on an unarmed member of An Garda Síochána going about their normal duties keeping people safe.
“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.
“I am appealing for any person with any information on this attack to contact investigating Gardaí”.
Gardaí would like to speak to any person driving on the N16 Cavan, passing Loughan House Prison, or the R206 and R207 at their junction with the N16, between 7 pm Sunday, February 27th and 3 am, Monday, 28th, and in particular any person with video footage (dashcam or other format).
An Garda Síochána are appealing for any person with any information to contact Cavan Garda Station at 049-4368800, the Garda Confidential Phone Number 1800-666111 or any Garda Station.