The Green Party leader has said he never asked for a pedalling protection officer – but will work in a ‘flexible way’ with Gardaí.
Eamon Ryan was speaking after it emerged he will protected by a member of the Garda Bike Unit while he cycles to work.
It comes after the Garda Commissioner decided that all members of Cabinet should get Garda protection officers in a bid to increase security.
As Minister Ryan does not use a ministerial car, he is being offered a pedalling protection officer when he cycles and a standard security detail when he drives.
Pedalling protection officer
Speaking to Newstalk this afternoon, he said the whole idea came from the Gardaí.
“That issue is something that is decided by the Gardaí,” he said.
“In a sense, I was particularly looking; I was happy enough with the way things were but you have to respect and listen to the Gardaí.
“It is their job in terms of security and it was their decision and their recommendation that protection officers would be applied.”
He noted that there are times when he has no choice but to use a car and he will work with gardaí in a ‘flexible’ manner.
“I drove today because I’m heading out to Mullingar,” he said. “I have an Irish Governmental conference next and then out to Mullingar this evening.
“I need the car; I’m not going to cycle to Mullingar.
“But I’ll work with them in a flexible way with them and we’ll make it work in a way that works for them as well as myself.”
Speaking to Newstalk yesterday, the Tánaiste Michéal Martin said the new security measures are necessary.
“Obviously, given what has happened in other jurisdictions and so on, it is an issue that deserves ongoing consideration,” he said.
“Basically, it is a matter for the Gardaí to advise on what are the best strategies to deploy in situations where elected representatives might be vulnerable or subject to attack.
“That is the situation.”
Earlier this month a bag of faeces was thrown at two TDs at a public meeting in Galway.
This morning meanwhile, Social Democrats TD Holly Cairns told The Pat Kenny Show about a ‘terrifying’ incident in which an online stalker turned up at her home.