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Gardai outside of the Ðáil during protests last month.
Budget Day

Garda safety plan for Dáil on budget day will see road closures and deployment of 200 personnel

A garda cordon will be in effect around Dáil Éireann.

THE GARDA SAFETY operation for Government buildings on budget day tomorrow will see 200 personnel deployed and a few roads closed for a limited period of time.

A garda cordon will be in effect around the Dáil Eireann and other Government buildings, and ID may be required for civilians to access it/ pass through the area. 

A garda spokesperson said that budget day “traditionally involved public gatherings in the environs of Government Buildings”, and that while anti-social behaviour “is not anticipated”, an “appropriate and proportionate policing plan” will be in place to ensure public safety. 

This policing plan for budget day comes after 13 people were arrested during protests that became aggressive and hostile on the first day of the Dáil being back in session after the summer break. 

 TDs and other Oireachtas staff were effectively trapped in the complex for a period after protesters blocked the Merrion Street entrance to the building.

One group of protesters erected a makeshift, imitation gallows with photographs of prominent politicians, Garda Commissioner Drew Harris and former Chief Medical Officer Tony Holohan attached to the frame around an effigy hanging from a noose.  

Gardaí will be working to avoid similar scenes tomorrow. 

Road closures

From 7pm earlier this evening to 2am tomorrow night, road closures will be in place on Kildare Street, Molesworth Street, Merrion Street Upper, Merrion Square West, and Merrion Square south. 

The garda spokesperson said Dublin city centre itself “remains open for normal business”. 

The 200 gardaí being deployed to police this operation will include unarmed frontline gardaí, plainclothes personnel, resources from the Garda National Public Order Unit, Roads Policing Units, and specialist services such as the Garda unit. 

The garda spokesperson said that there is a “constitutional right to the freedom of assembly and freedom of speech, subject to statutory provisions”. 

“These freedoms extend to some levels of disruption / obstruction of footpaths, streets, and/or roads, and expressing opinions that not every person agrees with or accepts, provided it is reasonable and proportionate, and limited in its extent and duration.

“An Garda Síochána is obliged to respect the right for all citizens to exercise their constitutional rights.

“An Garda Síochána acknowledges that at the vast majority of public gatherings disorder or anti-social behaviour is not anticipated, and that the majority of those present will be law abiding.

“Any Garda activity in relation to public gatherings is based on a graduated policing response taking into account relevant legislation and public safety.

“An Garda Síochána will put in place an appropriate and proportionate policing plan to manage any public gatherings on the 10th October 2023,” they added.