Gardaí investigating the ramming of a patrol car in Cherry Orchard on Monday night have searched six homes in west Dublin.

Officers from Ballyfermot with support from specialist units took away evidence including phones which they believe could contain footage of the incident.

Gardaí now believe they have identified the six people - from mid-teens to early twenties - who were in the three stolen Japanese cars involved in the incident.

Four of them were in one of the cars, the remaining two in the others.

The Garda Representative Association said today the two female gardaí in the car have been medically assessed by their GP's and are off duty due to medical advice and are trying to process the traumatic events.

One said: "I'm alive, that's the main thing. It was daunting to see a mob baying for our car to be rammed."

The GRA also said Ballyfermot Garda Station has been closed for the detention of prisoners since March 2020, that 15 gardaí have resigned from the district in the past two and a half years and that it is now under strength on the frontline.

"No area can sustain this level of loss without serious repercussions for policing on the ground," the GRA says.

Garda headquarters said the off-duty gardaí are receiving support from their colleagues and local garda management, chief medical officer and a 24-hour counselling service have been provided if required.

Gardaí in west Dublin have been conducting an investigation into the theft of Japanese imported cars in the area which are then been driven erratically and dangerously before being burned out.

Seven people have already been arrested and charged in connection with these incidents, three of whom have since been remanded in custody for breach of bail conditions.

Detectives are not only targeting those who were in the cars but also those who filmed the incident because their phones may have footage of the faces of those involved which was not posted online.

Gardaí have also asked owners of imported Japanese cars, which are vulnerable to theft because they do not have immobilisers or other anti-theft devices, to secure them with a hook lock or lock and chain.

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Tánaiste 'shocked' at ramming incident

The Tánaiste has told the Dáil that he was "taken aback" and "rather shocked" by the incident.

Leo Varadkar said residents should not have to put up with a small number of people who "wreak terror" on them.

Responding to Independent TD Cathal Berry, Mr Varadkar also sent his best wishes to the gardaí who were the target of this "unprovoked attack".

He added that Minister for Justice Helen McEntee is "to visit Cherry Orchard in the coming days".

She "is determined to make a difference," he said.