The Government will today announce €10 million to increase Garda visibility in Dublin.
The funding will be made immediately available and will provide for 240,000 extra Garda hours, or 20,000 extra Garda shifts, in the Dublin Metropolitan Region to the end of the year.
It comes after the attack on US tourist Stephen Termini, who was hospitalised after suffering severe injuries in the north inner city last week.
Justice Minister Helen McEntee will make the announcement today, while attending the latest Garda graduation ceremony in the Garda College in Templemore.
She will also say recruitment into the force is gathering pace, with bigger intakes every 11 weeks.
On Wednesday, Garda Representative Association President Brendan O’Connor said the organisation strongly favours supplying Gardaí with tasers to tackle violent crime.
“In Ireland the only Guard carrying tasers are the members of the Armed Response Unit… the people you see in the big SUVs and the armed Gardaí,” he said.
“So, they’re available to use tasers and we would hope response times in urban areas would not be too bad.
“But in the country, places like Connemara, west Donegal, Kerry, Cork, even parts of the Midlands, you’re talking massive delays for the tasers to arrive on site.”
Currently, only Gardaí who work in specialist firearms and protection units have tasers and Taoiseach Leo Varadkar has ruled out supplying the force with firearms.
“We do have the Emergency Response Unit which is armed and we do have Armed Response Units in every division, so there are a lot more Gardaí that are armed than was the case in the past - and that is necessary,” he said.
“Certainly, in my conversations with the Garda Commissioner and also rank and file Gardaí, one thing they’ve impressed on me since I gave those comments was that having an unarmed police force is something of real value.”
Ireland is one of only a handful of nations where rank and file police officers are not routinely armed.
Main image: Gardaí on O'Connell Street, Dublin. Picture by: Alamy.com