Dublin riots: 'You can't police a city on overtime' - Gannon

"The city is awash with Guards, but the Guards are working on overtime"
Jack Quann
Jack Quann

14.26 28 Nov 2023

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Dublin riots: 'You can't polic...

Dublin riots: 'You can't police a city on overtime' - Gannon

Jack Quann
Jack Quann

14.26 28 Nov 2023

Share this article

Dublin needs a metropolitan-style of policing that can react quickly to situations in the city centre.

Dublin Central Social Democrats TD Gary Gannon was speaking after the Dublin riots brought violence and looting to the city last Thursday night.

Justice Minister Helen McEntee has asked the Policing Authority to examine what new equipment Gardaí might need to properly respond to similar incidents in the future.


She has also sought 'clarity' about the level of force Gardaí can use.

Deputy Gannon told The Pat Kenny Show the city centre needs dedicated Gardaí.

"The city is awash with Guards, but the Guards are working on overtime," he said.

"You can't police a city on overtime.

"You have Guards based around O'Connell Street, rightfully so, but they're working various different shifts.

"It's not actually a consistent presence of Guards.

"The Guards [are] taken in ad-hoc from other spaces, there doesn't seem to be much in the way of a strategy there".

'The real problem'

Deputy Gannon said there is a reason people are pulling back from coming into the city.

"This is endemic a problem [that] started going on in the city for about since actually COVID, and there's nobody who's got in front of it," he said.

"Just as I jumped on my bike to come in here this morning I had a design business from Talbot Street call me.

"They've 18 staff, their premises has been broken into three times, their van window has been smashed twice.

"In a coffee shop next door, some of the staff members were there, while a staff member was being held up at knife point.

"All this happens right beside Store Street Garda station.

"There's a genuine sense that all of these strategies and announcements, they don't actually get to the real problem".

Residential vs city policing

Deputy Gannon said the people involved in anti-social behaviour are coming from several different places.

"These people are coming into the city from a multitude of different reasons, engaging in all sorts of behaviour,"he said.

"They're coming into the city - this is the central point of the city - you're talking about bus stops all around, there's Connolly Station.

"This is a confluence of different anti-social elements from all over the city.

"What we need is a proper metropolitan-style of policing in the city that is ready and reactive; that actually has Guards who are embedded in the city centre area, who understand [that] the culture of policing in that sort of central environment is different to residential policing.

"We haven't really had that," he added.

Some 48 people have been arrested in relation to the riots and unrest.

Main image: Social Democrat TD Gary Gannon addressing media on the plinth outside Leinster House, 16/02/2021. Image: Sasko Lazarov /

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Anti-social Behaviour Dublin Riots Gardai Gary Gannon Helen McEntee Metropolitan Metropolitan Police O'Connell Street Overtime Talbot Street The Pat Kenny Show

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