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Dáil Éireann debate -
Tuesday, 15 Apr 1969

Vol. 239 No. 9

Ceisteanna—Questions. Oral Answers. - Road-blocking Equipment.


asked the Minister for Justice if, having regard to a recent incident, he is prepared to have proper road-blocking equipment made available to Garda stations at once.

I have been informed by the Garda authorities that they are fully satisfied with the means at their disposal and that they do not require road-blocking equipment.

Maybe the Garda think they do not require road-blocking equipment but they must be the only same people outside Grangegorman who do not believe they want some kind of equipment to stop people like the gentlemen in a white Jaguar car which drove from Cork to Dublin, and got away with it, and disappeared altogether.

The Deputy should not believe all he reads. The question refers to road-blocking equipment. No special road-blocking equipment is necessary. The Garda believe that the blocking of roads should be resorted to only in very specific emergency-type cases because of the danger that innocent lives might be lost.

Like when the farmers are marching.

When the Garda decide that it is necessary to block a road, they have the means at their disposal.

They do not appear to have used it in respect of the white Jaguar.

Would the Minister tell us what means they have of blocking roads?

They could take out the old donkey and cart——

On numerous occasions, gardai have themselves formed a human block in order to stop cars. They are supposed to have done it in this particular case. A garda was killed last year in County Wicklow when he and another garda tried to stop a car. Surely it would be easy enough to make equipment that could be carried on a police car and set down with ease to block such people on the roads?

The Garda have no difficulty in that respect. The simplest thing to do is to use a couple of Garda cars.

They very rarely resort to the device of blocking roads. It is done only in a very serious case.

Was this not a serious case? In one particular town the only way they had of blocking the road was by forming a human block of men but the car made for them and they had to jump out of the way.