High-visibility Garda presence across Dublin 'will continue' - McEntee

Helen McEntee was speaking amid concerns that an initiative introduced last August would be wound down
Jack Quann
Jack Quann

20.25 18 Jan 2024

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High-visibility Garda presence across Dublin 'will continue' - McEntee

Jack Quann
Jack Quann

20.25 18 Jan 2024

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A high-visibility policing operation in Dublin city centre will continue, the Justice Minister has said.

Helen McEntee was speaking amid concerns that the initiative, introduced after a number of violent incidents in the capital, would be wound down.

Funding of €10 million was provided last year to increase the Garda presence on the streets.


Dubbed 'Operation Citizen', the funding saw an increase in deployment of public order units and Roads Policing units, with armed Gardaí on standby.

Minister McEntee told The Hard Shoulder she has received assurances that high-visibility policing will be maintained.

"Firstly just to reassure people that there will continue to be that high visibility policing," he said.

"I think people have really noticed, not just since Christmas but since the summer, that increased visibility.

"That in itself just provides reassurance to people.

"The Garda Commissioner has assured me that that will continue.

"That we will continue to have that high visibility, that we will continue to use overtime as is needed, and that whatever resources are needed to keep it that presence that that will be maintained".

Minister McEntee said seeing uniformed Gardaí  is making a difference in the capital.

"I think certainly people feel the increased presence and they feel that sense that they're seeing more uniformed Gardaí," he said.

"Often it is just seeing that uniform, because you do have Garaí that are working not in uniform.

"But when you put them in uniform, that presence suddenly becomes much more enhanced.

"Some of that is what has happened as well where you have Gardaí that wouldn't have been in uniforms are now in uniforms.

"Certainly there has been maybe a feeling of a greater presence around the city centre, but beyond as well.

"That will continue and it's to reassure people that will continue".

Gardaí on patrol in Dublin. Gardaí on patrol in Dublin. Image: Artur Widak/NurPhoto

Minister McEntee said it is about more than just a Garda presence.

"Safety is not just about policing, it's about our landscape, it's about dereliction, it's about rubbish collection, it's about lighting, it's about the business that are there," she said.

"It's about investing in an area as a whole, what kind of services do we have?

"We know that there is a concentration of services for vulnerable people in our city centre, how do we deal with that and how do we support them and understand what the problems are?"

'It is safe'

Minister McEntee said a Community Safety Partnership is examining these issues.

"We have a fantastic city centre and I think we just need to make sure that everybody else realises that there's a lot of work going on," she said.

"Of course it's safe, I absolutely believe it's safe.

"Are there problems? Yes there are. Are there problem areas? You wouldn't have a capital city of one million people without problems.

"But for the whole it is safe," she added.

The Irish Times reported earlier that the funding for 'Operation Citizen' had been exhausted and would not be renewed.

Listen back here:

Main image: Justice Minister Helen McEntee speaking on The Hard Shoulder, 18-1-24. Image: Newstalk

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Community Safety Partnership Dublin City Centre Garda Commissioner Helen McEntee Justice Minister Link In Bio Operation Citizen The Hard Shoulder

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