Tuesday, 1 October 2019

Questions (280)

Seán Haughey


280. Deputy Seán Haughey asked the Minister for Justice and Equality if his attention has been drawn to threats by a group (details supplied) to shut down Dublin city centre for a week in October 2019; the action he plans to take in relation to this possibility; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [39730/19]

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Written answers (Question to Justice)

Under the Garda Síochána Act 2005, as amended, the Garda Commissioner has responsibility for managing An Garda Síochána and for the allocation of Garda resources. The Commissioner and his management team also have responsibility for the operational management of An Garda Síochána.

The Deputy will appreciate that the management of major public events and public demonstrations is an operational matter appropriate to An Garda Síochána. As Minister for Justice and Equality, I have no role in such matters.

I would point out that the statutory functions of An Garda Síochána include the preservation of peace and public order, protecting life and property and vindicating the human rights of individuals. I further understand that An Garda Síochána always endeavour as best they can to facilitate peaceful protests and demonstrations. This is clearly evidenced by the many peaceful demonstrations and protests that take place around the country on a variety of issues of public interest, including large demonstrations.

The Deputy will also be aware that An Garda Síochána also plays a vital role in developing traffic management plans, to coincide with major events including demonstrations, where relevant. I understand that traffic management plans are developed, where required for large-scale events and plans are published by the Garda authorities on the news section of An Garda Síochána's homepage.

An Garda Síochána's Operational Support Services units also provide invaluable specialist support to Gardaí throughout the country in respect of a broad range of operational functions; units include the Mounted Support Unit and the Air Support Unit.

I hope this information is helpful to the Deputy.