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More Gardaí needed to tackle public disorder – Currie, Doherty, Seery-Kearney & Ward

7th October 2021 - Fine Gael Press Office

Four Dublin-based Fine Gael Senators have called for an increase in Garda numbers and for a policing plan to be put in place to tackle the issue of antisocial behavior on our streets.

Senators Emer Currie, Regina Doherty, Mary Seery-Kearney and Barry Ward made the call following the attack on a Deliveroo driver in Temple Bar which they strongly condemned.

A video of the horrific incident depicts physical violence and racial abuse towards a man who is at work, delivering takeaway food. His attackers threw his bicycle to the ground and hurled glass bottles at him. This vicious attack is emblematic of a trend of public disorder not just in Dublin, but across the country, which is often, regrettably, targeted at foreign nationals.

Senator Barry Ward, who is the Fine Gael spokesperson on Justice in the Seanad, said: “This video, and others like it, show a trend of public disorder in our cities and towns across the country in recent months, that is totally unacceptable. It’s time we put a stop to it.

“I’m calling on the Minister for Justice to commit to increasing Garda numbers in the upcoming Budget, and suggest that An Garda Síochána make more resources available for policing in town and city centers to ensure that there are always Gardaí on the beat and that there is no tolerance of this kind of public disorder.

“I welcome Minister Humphreys’ statement that a new Garda operation will be put in place in the coming weeks. It is important that residents, businesses and those who want to enjoy our capital feel safe as nightlife fully resumes after October 22 and as move towards the busy Christmas period.

“Fighting and violent attacks in public spaces put us all at risk and make everyone’s life unpleasant, from passers-by to businesses and consumers. Enough is enough.”

Senator Mary Seery-Kearney, who has met with Deliveroo management and spoken about the issues faced by their drivers, said: “Our beautiful and historic capital city needs to be safe for everyone and everyone must take a stand in that: Deliveroo, the Gardaí and the public.”

“The vast majority of Deliveroo drivers are foreign nationals who are sadly repeated targets of racial violence and attacks. Their safety and security in going about their living is of critical importance. People are standing there videoing what is occurring – why aren’t they playing their part in stopping it? A more appropriate use of their phone would be to call the Gardaí.”

Senator Emer Currie said: ““This unfortunately, was not a once-off incident. It is imperative we react to the scale and severity of these attacks by increasing Garda numbers and making them more visible. We can’t allow our city centre streets to become no-go areas because of anti-social behaviour and hate-fuelled attacks. It needs to stop and stop now.”

Senator Regina Doherty commented: “We need more Gardaí and a different approach to the growing racist nature of the attacks that we see. We also have to acknowledge that the culture is changing when we see Irish people cheering on such racist attacks.

“I commend the Minister for agreeing that a new approach is required, and that we now need to set up a special task-force, incorporating local government and communities, to initiate a special policing response to this serious issue”, concluded Senator Doherty.

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