A man is in custody after two members of the Garda Siochana (Irish police service) were shot and wounded in an exchange of gunfire.
Gardai responding to reports of shots fired at Whitechapel Grove in Clonsilla, West Dublin at around 7pm on Tuesday evening came under fire from a gunman shooting from a house.
The two officers, male detectives in their 30s, were both shot in the feet, and one was also shot in the hand.
Gardai returned fire, as they sheltered behind a patrol car. The car was hit by a number of rounds fired by the suspect.
Video posted on social media showed one of the injured officers being helped to an ambulance, his foot clearly wounded. Other videos showed Gardai crouched or lying behind the nearest available cover after the shots were fired.
A massive Garda operation began in response, with specialist armed units sealing off the area. A Garda helicopter hovered overhead as trained negotiators spoke to the suspect, who is in his late 30s and is known to police.
After several hours of talks, the suspect threw two guns, an automatic pistol and another handgun, out of the house and agreed to surrender.
The two wounded detectives are being treated for their non-life-threatening injuries at Connolly Memorial Hospital in Blanchardstown.
“They’re doing ok, and are with their families,” said Chief Superintendent Finbarr Murphy, speaking at a late night press conference.
“These people have families, they’ve gone to work today, and someone has had to make a phone call to tell them this happened.
“It’s real life, its tough but its very, very important that the community appreciate the work these guards are doing, and the level of risk they put themselves in on a daily basis to protect society.”
The Garda Commissioner Drew Harris said he wanted to “commend all the Gardaí involved in securing a successful outcome to this firearms incident, in particular, the bravery of the two detectives who were first on scene”.
“This was another in a long line of examples of Gardaí putting themselves on the line to keep people safe. I want to wish them a speedy recovery.”
The Taoiseach [Irish Prime Minister] Micheal Martin condemned the shooting, saying he was “shocked and deeply concerned”.
“This incident in Dublin shows yet again the danger An Garda Síochána often face in their efforts to protect and serve the people,” he said. “We should always be very grateful for all the work they do on a daily basis on our behalf.”
Ireland’s Justice Minister Heather Humphreys praised the work carried out by Gardai. She said that “we can never take for granted their bravery and the dedicated service they provide to our communities”.
The minister added that “an investigation into the incident is now underway and I urge any member of the public with any information or footage to contact Blanchardstown Garda Station”.