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Monday 6 February 2023 Dublin: -1°C
Photocall Ireland Detective Garda Shay O'Donnell with samples of weapons seized in 2014 and 2015.
# poll exclusive
Should all gardaí be armed? The nation's split on the question
Support for arming gardaí is strongest among younger age groups, according to a poll carried out for TheJournal.ie.

THE QUESTION OF whether rank-and-file gardaí should be armed is being debated at the annual conference of the Garda Representative Association this week, as officers meet in Killarney.

It’s a topical issue, coming in the wake of the Paris and Brussels terror attacks – and as a gangland feud continues in Dublin.

Opinion appears divided in the force itself – and when it comes to the wider population, there’s an almost 50 – 50 split between those in favour of arming all gardaí, and those against.

The latest TheJournal.ie/Amárach poll in association with Claire Byrne Live asked, simply, ‘Should all gardaí be armed?‘.

The responses showed 44% in favour and 43% against with 13% undecided.

More males than females answered no: 48% of men were against arming all members of the force, as opposed to 38% of women.

Support for arming the entire force was stronger among younger age groups – with just over half of 18- to 24-year-olds in favour of all gardaí having guns. Among those aged 55 plus, that number fell to 31%.

Note: This poll was conducted before last night’s shooting in Dublin took place.

Read: Can Ireland continue to operate without an armed police force?

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