herald

Thursday 8 December 2016

Detectives call for return of their Uzis

gardai

Gardai on duty.
Gardai on duty.

Rank and file gardai are set to call for the reinstatement of the Uzi submachine gun for all armed officers.

The weapon was withdrawn from service in March 2012 amid a number of safety concerns. However, officers from Cork are to demand a return of the gun in a motion to be put to the Garda Representative Association conference.

The three-day event begins in Carlow today where detectives will also debate a motion calling for officers to be issued with bulletproof shields.

Currently, detectives are issued with only a Sig-Saur semi-automatic handgun.

GANGS

Many in the force have said the withdrawal of the Uzi has left them seriously out-gunned against dangerous gangs.

The Uzi was withdrawn from service just a year before Detective Garda Adrian Donohoe (41) was gunned down during an armed raid in Dundalk Co Louth.

His colleagues have speculated that the detective, who previously carried the weapon, was only shot because criminals knew he was out-gunned.

Det Donohue and his colleague Joe Ryan were confronted by a five-strong gang outside Lordship Credit Union on January 25, 2013.

Neither officer was armed with an Uzi and returned fire with their personal side arm.

Until its withdrawal, the Uzi was used by detectives for over 40 years.

The only officers currently armed with machine guns are the emergency response unit.

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