New figures show that just over 2,000 Gardaí were assaulted while on duty in the last seven years.
Information from the Garda Employee Management System shows 2,080 Gardaí were assaulted while on active duty from 2015 to December 2020.
This includes 509 in the Dublin metropolitan region - while outside of Dublin, Kerry had the highest number of assaults against Gardaí with 157 incidents.
The year 2022 had the highest rate of assaults at 305 incidents. There have been 186 incidents of assault so far in 2023.
Fine Gael Justice Spokesperson Alan Farrell said these assaults are an attack “not just on the individual but on communities as a whole”.
“Gardaí put themselves in harm’s way on a constant basis to protect the people and communities they serve - they deserve our utmost respect and appreciation for the work they do,” he said.
The Fine Gael TD said Gardaí on duty must be protected and equipped with bodycams.
“Bodycams will be vital in terms of protecting Gardaí and for evidence of the nature of assaults and incidents that they are facing,” he said.
“It also makes little sense that the only individual involved in a confrontation with a member of the force who is without a camera and with footage of the incident is the Gardaí themselves.”
Deputy Farrell said Fine Gael are proposing bodycam technology “fully in line with all of our constitutional, European and international obligations to the rights of our people”.
Bodycams are used on police forces in 11 European countries, including Germany, Belgium, the Netherlands and Switzerland.
Deputy Farrell said these cameras will protect “vulnerable” Gardaí.
“We also regularly see racially motivated abuse and harassment against Gardaí from a minority background with these incidents then posted on social media in some cases,” he said.
“This is reprehensible and must be condemned in the strongest terms.”