Almost two gardai a day are injured in line of duty
Figures provided by the Minister for Justice Frances Fitzgerald show that the number of gardai sustaining injuries while on duty has increased sharply in recent years.
According to the figures, the number of gardai injured on the job in 2015 and 2014 represents a 21pc increase on the 2013 total and a 55pc increase on the numbers injured while on duty in 2012. The figures show that 631 gardai, or almost two a day, were injured while on duty last year.
In response to the figures, the President of the Garda Representative Association (GRA), Ciaran O'Neill said yesterday that consistent increase of officers sustaining injuries while on duty in recent years is down to a shortage of gardai, lack of respect - by some - for the role gardai play in society and also diminished resources.
"No one should expect to be injured as part of their job, yet this has become an unacceptable occupational hazard. These figures show the perils gardai face on a daily basis. We have no idea what lies ahead of us when we arrive at work every day.
"It's clear that those responsible have no respect for the law or for members of An Garda Siochana," he said.
According to the figures Ms Fitzgerald has provided to party colleague Bernard Durkan, the 631 gardai injured on duty in 2015 and 2014 compares to 517 injured in 2013 .
Ms Fitzgerald confirmed that during from 2005 to September 25th this year, a total of 5,417 Gardai were injured while on duty including 408 to be injured this year.
Ms Fitzgerald confirmed that during the 2005 to 2016 period, there were five on-duty garda fatalities.
"It's vital that the use of tasers is seriously examined as a deterrent for use by front line members working 24/7 in An Garda Siochana," said Mr O'Neill.
"Furthermore, the GRA believes that the use of body worn cameras may act as a deterrent. We would also call for mandatory minimum sentences for those who assault members of the frontline emergency services."