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Replica police vehicle turning heads in Dublin

Published 09/08/2015

Police Service of a replica Northern Ireland (PSNI) Land Rover on the streets of Harold's Cross, Dublin.
Police Service of a replica Northern Ireland (PSNI) Land Rover on the streets of Harold's Cross, Dublin.
Undated photo of the Police Service of a replica Northern Ireland (PSNI) Land Rover on the streets of Harold's Cross, Dublin.

An arresting sight is turning heads all across Dublin.

Rush-hour commuters are double-taking at an apparent incursion of a PSNI Land Rover into the Irish capital.

Emblazoned with the distinctive blue and yellow chequers, the white jeep features the familiar Crimestoppers logo and riot-proof grilles.

But puzzled onlookers wondering if a patrol has strayed too far down the M1, or if cross-border policing has reached another historic milestone, soon spot a clue with the Cork-registered licence plates.

The replica is owned by 24-7 Security, a Dublin-headquartered company that boasts overseas embassies and the Department of Foreign Affairs among its clients.

Managing director Mark Gray, 52, said he had the Land Rover mocked up in the armoured PSNI style to get a "shock, horror" reaction while doing his rounds.

"People take notice of it, there's no doubt about it," he said.

"Passers-by have been nearly falling out the window of their cars to get a look at it.

"Everywhere it goes it's getting a weird reaction. It has been phenomenal."

The send-up is inspired by countless images of the PSNI Land Rovers being flashed across news reports worldwide during contentious events north of the border down through the years.

"I remember them being very prevalent," said Mr Gray.

"It was really to create that shock-horror reaction, that people would take notice and think is that one of the PSNI jeeps down from the North.

"It's getting noticed everywhere - the amount of people around Dublin who have said it to me about it is amazing."

Having only ventured as far as Newry a couple of times, Mr Gray said he wanted to explore more of Northern Ireland but vowed to leave the imitation police jeep back at home.

"I've been meaning to get to Belfast for a long time, but I just haven't made it. I want to go and see the Giant's Causeway as well," he said.

"But I don't plan to take the Land Rover too far up the M1."

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