News Irish News

Wednesday 17 January 2018

Change in the tenor and tone of a small group at water protests worrying - Tanaiste

Garda Commissioner Noirin O’Sullivan, Tanaiste Joan Burton and Justice Minister Frances Fitzgerald at Templemore garda training college
Garda Commissioner Noirin O’Sullivan, Tanaiste Joan Burton and Justice Minister Frances Fitzgerald at Templemore garda training college
Lise Hand

Lise Hand

Tanaiste Joan Burton today described the recent outbreaks of violence at water protests as “worrying” because of what she described as the “change in the tenor and tone of a very small group of people".

This was echoed by the Garda Commissioner Noirin O’Sullivan who said that the abuse hurled at President Higgins by protesters at a recent event in a school in Finglas was “unacceptable.”

Read more: Protesters call Michael D Higgins 'midget parasite'

Ms O’Sullivan said: “People are entitled to democratically protest in a fair and democratic society - what is very worrying is the change and tone and sentiment of that type of protest, particularly in terms of our members, the men and women of An Garda Siochana and the abuse that members are putting up with.”

The commissioner added that the targeting of any individuals by protesters is “unacceptable - be they in political office, in public life or any member of the public”.

Read more: Irish Water deadline 'not a line in the sand' - Kelly

In response to a question on whether the security arrangements around senior members of government need to be stepped up, the Tanaiste said: “I think the arrangements that are there are working very well”.

Ms Burton was speaking at Templemore garda training college, where she joined the Taoiseach, Justice Minister Frances Fitzgerald and the garda commissioner to welcome 100 new recruits who began training this week - another 200 are already at the college.

Addressing the 300 new gardai, Mr Kenny said pledged his government’s support.

“This college will not close again,” he said.

Online Editors

Promoted Links

Today's news headlines, directly to your inbox every morning.

Promoted Links

Editor's Choice

Also in Irish News