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Monday 11 December 2023 Dublin: 9°C
Sam Boal/ Members of the public order unit in riot gear in the city centre last night.
outdoor summer

Eamon Ryan says public order incidents need to be managed in 'more thought-through manner'

The minister said the council, with support from the government, should put in place “event control teams”.

MINISTER EAMON RYAN has said public order incidents such as those seen in Dublin’s city centre over the weekend need to be managed in a more “thought-through” way.

Gardaí arrested 19 people for public order offences during a largescale policing operation in Dublin last night.

The began to clear streets from 7pm, with a large number of both uniform and public order unit gardaí in the city. 

Speaking to RTÉ’s This Week, the Minister for the Environment, Climate and Communications said the scenes in the city centre were “deeply regrettable”. 

“What we don’t want is baton charges and what we don’t want is shields,” Ryan said. 

“What we do want is the whole thing to be managed in a much more thought-through manner.”

Two officers were injured in clashes with a small group of individuals who senior gardaí said had come into the city over the last two days to cause trouble. 

Minister Ryan said he was concerned that gardaí were injured and acknowledged they have a difficult job to do. 

“It’s not right to be throwing glasses at anyone,” he said. “They have to protect their own members and protect the public.

It’s a really difficult job, nobody wants to be there saying ‘sorry you have to move on, you have to break up’ and I think by and large they’ve done it in a very well policed manner.

Sam Boal Sam Boal

The minister said the council, with support from the government, should put in place “event control teams” to work with gardaí and local businesses “so we can manage this properly”. He also said the government needs to look at opening up more space so that one small area does not become “the concentration of where people are hanging out”.

“By dispersing that, that’s the sort of event control management I am talking about, so no one area takes too much pressure – no one area becomes the focus where people trying to look for trouble would decide to go,” he said.

This morning, Assistant Commissioner Ann Marie Cagney who led last night’s operations, defended the police approach taken over the weekend, stating that it was necessary for gardaí to have shields for their protection.

“Again our response through out the policing activities has been a graduated response. When you see last night’s response that is part of a defensive response we put in place to protect our members,” she said.

“We have had three members of An Garda Síochána injured over this weekend and I will not tolerate that.

“My job as Assistant Commissioner is to provide safety for our members and the community and in that regard those shields provide that additional protection for our members.”

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