Thursday 19 October 2017

Gardaí to review Leinster House security

Ms O'Sullivan held a private meeting with members of the CPP at Leinster House to discuss security procedures in the wake of the chaotic scenes when a group of water charges demonstrators held a sit-down protest
Ms O'Sullivan held a private meeting with members of the CPP at Leinster House to discuss security procedures in the wake of the chaotic scenes when a group of water charges demonstrators held a sit-down protest
Lise Hand

Lise Hand

Garda Commissioner Nóirín O'Sullivan has promised a full review after a protest outside Leinster House this week during which a female garda was injured and a number of TDs and senators were blocked from using the main entrance.

She also indicated to TDs that further arrests were likely in the wake of the violent demonstration on Kildare Street.

Ms O'Sullivan held a private meeting with members of the Committee of Procedure and Privilege (CPP) at Leinster House to discuss security procedures in the wake of the chaotic scenes when a group of water charges demonstrators held a sit-down protest.

During the 45-minute meeting, the commissioner said she acknowledged the rights of Oireachtas members to access Leinster House unhindered.

"She emphasised this as something she had a very strong view on, and that whatever actions were required to ensure that, would be taken," said Labour's Emmet Stagg after the private session. Describing the meeting as "constructive", Deputy Stagg said: "It's simply not tolerable that members of parliament can't get in or out of parliament."

The commissioner later confirmed a review is being held to ensure the safety of members of the public and gardaí during protests.

She also called for close planning between gardaí and groups to ensure the event is peaceful and successful.

"It should be remembered that Wednesday saw two distinct protests carried out at Leinster House, and the majority of people who attended behaved in a peaceful manner.

"However, a small minority of individuals went beyond what could be described as a peaceful protest and engaged in the type of behaviour which resulted in the injury of a female garda," she added.

Security inside Leinster House has been beefed up recently, with politicians and staff issued with swipe cards which must be used to access lifts and certain corridors.

Irish Independent

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