Monday 26 August 2019

Gardaí still stationed outside Cosgrave's home a month after his death

The Garda hut outside the house in Knocklyon, Dublin 16
The Garda hut outside the house in Knocklyon, Dublin 16

Allison Bray

A garda protection post yesterday remained at the home of the late Taoiseach Liam Cosgrave despite questions being raised about the use of Garda resources.

The former Fine Gael leader passed away on October 4 in Tallaght Hospital following an illness.

A month on from Mr Cosgrave's death, a Garda post is still stationed at the property on a 24-hour basis.

Opposition TDs have described the decision to deploy gardaí at the south Dublin home as bizarre.

In a statement, gardaí said that a security review had been undertaken in conjunction with the Department of Justice.

"Following the death of a protected person, An Garda Síochána conducts a full security review and a determination on security requirements is made based on the outcome of that review.

"The review is undertaken in conjunction with the Department of Justice and the occupants of the property. This review has been completed and a determination reached," a spokesman said.

"An Garda Síochána will not comment any further on matters of security."

A spokesman for the Department of Justice said that the Garda Commissioner was responsible for the distribution of resources, including personnel.

Fianna Fáil justice spokesman Jim O'Callaghan described the use of Garda resources as "bizarre" while questioning why the decision had not been made to end the presence at the property.

"It reveals that no one within the force took responsibility for making the obvious decision to end the Garda presence," Mr O'Callaghan said.

Mr Cosgrave led a Fine Gael-Labour coalition between 1973 and 1977, when he stepped down following Fianna Fáil's landslide election victory.

One listener to RTÉ's 'Liveline' programme expressed her anger that a garda was still stationed at the house.

"That guard has to sit there and they can't do anything about any other crimes, as they have to stay at their station.

"It's a waste of revenue and it's a waste of resources, why can't they release that garda to go elsewhere and hire a security firm if they want?

"It's ridiculous and a total waste of taxpayers' money.

"What are they protecting, an empty bungalow?" the caller said.

Irish Independent

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