Wednesday 21 March 2018

Garda security presence at Corrib gas site cost €14.5m excluding salaries reporters

THE GARDA security presence at the Corrib gas site in Bellanaboy, Co May has cost over €14.5m over the past six years.

The figures emerged from a parliamentary question from Sinn Fein’s Peadar Toibin.

Minister for Justice Alan Shatter said it was “deeply regrettable” that the site was costing so much.

A breakdown of the figures show that between 2006 and the end of last year, over €9m has been paid out in garda overtime and allowances.

A further €5m was spend on travel, subsistence and other expenses.

Other figures show the State paid over €500,000 in extra employers' PRSI over the six-year period.

They do not include the basic garda salaries which the State would have paid during this period.

The minister said he had been advised by the garda authorities that they were not in a position to provide projected costs in relation to future policing at the refinery.

Minister Shatter said although the level of resources involved was regrettable it was "absolutely necessary" due to the actions of some protesters, many of whom he accused of engaging in "protest tourism".

Shell began work at the site early in 2005, but by that summer it stopped after continuous protests.

Work resumed again in October 2006 and the level of protesters increased around that time, as did the number of gardaí.

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