Garda Representative Association says some showed up on Saturday "to inflict harm on Gardaí" 1 month ago

Garda Representative Association says some showed up on Saturday "to inflict harm on Gardaí"

“We believe the argument for priority vaccination of Gardaí is all the more compelling in light of our members’ exposure on Saturday and demonstrations allegedly planned for the near future.”

The Garda Representative Association has called for a meeting with the Minister for Justice Helen McEntee and Garda Commissioner Drew Harris in the wake of the violence on the streets of Dublin on Saturday.

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The GRA wants to discuss the type of risk and injury its members were exposed to in the city.

The violent protest occurred in Dublin on Saturday and was led by far-right groups as well as anti-vaccine, anti-mask and anti-lockdown protestors.

23 people were arrested during the disturbances and at least a dozen members of An Garda Síochána suffered injuries, one of whom will undergo surgery later this week.

GRA representative for the Dublin South Central Division, Garda Damien McCarthy said the GRA's priority was for the health and welfare of its members.

“These engagements meant our members came in close contact with numerous people who refuse to follow public health advice and are therefore more likely to have the virus," McCarthy said.

“Our members’ normal duties involve close physical contact with people but on Saturday we were involved in hundreds of physical engagements with people who are at higher risk of infection.

“This happened on the streets but it also affected Garda stations where members who were not involved in policing on Saturday may also be exposed to infection through their colleagues."

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McCarthy said the situation has highlighted the need for Gardaí to receive priority vaccinations due to the health risk situations like these pose.

“We are meeting with local Garda management tomorrow but we need to also meet the Minister and Commissioner urgently to address some of the wider concerns highlighted by this incident," McCarthy said.

“We believe the argument for priority vaccination of Gardaí is all the more compelling in light of our members’ exposure on Saturday and demonstrations allegedly planned for the near future.”