Gardaí must feel confident using ‘appropriate force’ when responding to incidents like the Dublin Riots, the Justice Minister has said.
Helen McEntee has asked the Policing Authority to provide ‘clarity’ about the level of force Gardaí can use when faced with violent unrest.
She has also asked the body to examine what new equipment Gardaí might need to properly respond to similar incidents in the future.
The measures are included in a plan the minister is bringing before Cabinet this morning.
Speaking ahead of the meeting, Minister McEntee said Gardaí should not feel like they are “operating with their hands behind their backs" when faced with violence on the streets.
“I do not want members of AGS looking over their shoulder responding to these incidents where they feel that force is necessary, I want to them to have the confidence to respond in the way that they deem appropriate,” she said.
‘I don’t want Gardaí looking over their shoulders.’
— NewstalkFM (@NewstalkFM) November 28, 2023
She said Gardaí need clarity about what level of force they are permitted to use.
“I want Gardaí to be absolutely confident in using force where they feel it is necessary and where they feel it is appropriate,” she said.
“So, I am asking the authority to provide that clarity for members of An Garda Síochána so they do not feel they are operating with their hands behind their backs
“There were serious thugs and criminals who went out to not just cause disruption and destruction but to harm people on Thursday night and Gardaí need to be able to respond with the appropriate force and so I want that absolute clarity provided to them.”
Minister McEntee also moved to reassure the public there will be a strong visible Garda presence to keep people safe in the city centre throughout the Christmas period.