Sunday 20 August 2017

Garda protection for Cabinet to be reviewed as Budget nears

Workers replace the vandalised windows of Noels Dempsey's constituency office. Photo: PA
Workers replace the vandalised windows of Noels Dempsey's constituency office. Photo: PA
A glazier works on the damage to the TD's constituency office. Photo: PA
View of the street in Trim, Co Meath. Photo: PA
Glaziers replace the windows at the office. Photo: PA

Tom Brady and Elaine Keogh

GARDA protection for government ministers is to be kept under constant review in the run up to next month's Budget.

Transport Minister Noel Dempsey became the latest Cabinet victim of protesters and vandals early yesterday when graffiti was sprayed across the front of his constituency office in High Street, Trim, Co Meath.

Three panes of glass in the building were also smashed by stones in the incident, which happened at 3.24am.

The word 'tratiors' (sic) was sprayed in large red letters across the building.

Gardai believe one man was involved in the attack on Mr Dempsey's office and last night described him as wearing a dark jacket, jeans and white runners/ trainers.

The building was later examined by garda technical experts.

A spokesman appealed to anyone with information to contact them at 046 9431222.

A spokeswoman for the minister said: "This is a local office for local people and the minister will continue to serve local people, undeterred."

She said it was an attack on "the decent local people, who have loyally supported minister Dempsey over the years".

Incidents

It was the latest in a series of incidents targeting government ministers and buildings in recent months. Two people have already been charged with criminal offences arising from their alleged involvement in incidents while others are the subject of files to the DPP.

Gardai are generally adopting a low-profile approach to protests and the planned trade union rally in Dublin on Saturday will be policed by uniformed personnel.

But senior officers are concerned that more radical groups, such as dissident republicans, eirigi and socialist worker parties, may attempt to hijack demonstrations.

Garda Special Branch officers are being quietly deployed as spotters on the streets to identify potential trouble- makers.

Irish Independent

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