Senator calls on the army to assist the Gardaí following large gatherings in Galway 3 weeks ago

Senator calls on the army to assist the Gardaí following large gatherings in Galway

The Senator also called on the people who gathered in large crowds in Galway on Monday night to quarantine for 10-14 days.

Ollie Crowe, Fianna Fáil Senator for Galway West, has raised the possibility of the army being called on to assist the Gardaí in maintaining public order following scenes of large gatherings in Galway city on Monday night.

Crowe was one of a number of people on social media to condemn scenes of large crowds at the Spanish Arch and elsewhere in Galway on Monday night, describing it as “simply unacceptable.

Speaking on Today with Claire Byrne on RTÉ Radio 1 on Tuesday, Crowe said he thinks it’s appropriate for the government to consider how to assist Gardaí in maintaining public order in an army town such as Galway.

“It's freshers' week here in Galway... the Gardaí are under enormous pressure,” Crowe said.

“I think it's appropriate for government to examine how we can allocate additional resources to the Gardaí as an army town here in Galway... I've no doubt that the officers stationed there would pitch in and assist the Gardaí if that was required.”

Crowe also called on anyone who was part of the gatherings in the city on Monday night “to quarantine for 10-14 days”.

JP McMahon, a restaurateur in Galway, described the scenes as “very depressing” and agreed with Crowe’s suggestion about deploying the army in Galway.

He also urged the government to close off off-licenses or significantly reduce their opening hours, warning of “another lockdown” if they remain open until 11.30pm.

Also speaking to Claire Byrne, Padraig Toomey, Student Union President of NUI Galway, condemned the scenes as “just reckless behaviour” but “not representative of the student community”.

The scenes have been described as “deplorable” by the college.

Gardaí said that crowds that gathered in Galway city on Monday night were dispersed without incident and advised of the relevant health guidelines in place.

It was also confirmed that there would be no investigation into breaches of public health regulations by those in attendance as there are no penal regulations prohibiting person/persons attending gatherings such as those witnessed last night.

An Garda Síochána has no statutory powers under ‘Covid Regulations’ to prevent these gatherings taking place.

In respect of regulations which are not declared to be Penal Regulations under the Health Act 1947 as amended, An Garda Síochána says it will adopt the approach of the three Es which will see Gardaí engage, educate and encourage, only.

In respect of regulations which are declared to be Penal Regulations under the Health Act 1947 as amended, An Garda Síochána says it has adopted and will continue to adopt a graduated policing response based on its tradition of policing by consent, by which Gardaí engage, educate, encourage and, as a last resort, enforce.

An Garda Síochána says it continues to appeal to all citizens to demonstrate personal and social responsibility to comply with public health guidelines and regulations in order to continue to save lives.

Main image via Twitter/Cllr. Eddie Hoare