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Saturday 18 August 2018

Glass in fireman's eye after rock attack

A senior Dublin Fire Brigade officer suffered eye injuries in an attack by youths who threw a rock at his fire engine.

The station officer at Kilbarrack Fire Station in Dublin was in the passenger seat of a fire engine which was on its way to fight a caravan blaze off the N32 near Coolock.

A youth who was standing opposite the entrance to Belcamp College threw a rock at the truck's window, shattering it, and a shard of glass is believed to have lodged in the officer's eye.

The fireman was taken to Beaumont Hospital on Wednesday evening and later transferred to the Mater Hospital. He was seriously shaken after the attack.

Joe Kirnan told the Herald yesterday: "Luckily enough, I'm fine."

One of the fire officers who was in the truck at the time said their bid to fight the fire was halted by the reckless youths.

"You could see the smoke in the distance as we were going up the N32 and we were just driving and then two youths appeared, standing opposite the Belcamp College entrance."

"(One of the youths) didn't even pick the rock up... he seemed to have it in his pocket and he took a swing. The glass shattered all over the station officer. It was an awful bang."

"Luckily the driver remained calm and he just stopped the engine. It could have been dangerous on the main road," said the officer.

The crew had to call another engine from North Strand Fire Station to fight the caravan blaze while they attended to the shaken station officer.

"We're obviously a big target in this job. It was a big rock, the size of a tennis ball and with the velocity of it matched with the speed of the engine, it was just very frightening."

Shocked

He added: "The station officer was covered with the most glass, the rock hit his side of the engine at eye level and he got most of the blow.

"He was just very, very shocked and worried about his eyes. We're not sure of the extent of the damage at the moment."

A garda spokesperson said an investigation is under way.

No arrests have yet been made.

A Dublin Fire Brigade spokesperson said: "Dublin Fire Brigade condemns in the strongest possible terms such mindless attacks on its workforce and will continue to work with local communities to minimise such attacks."

hnews@herald.ie

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