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Eamonn Farrell via

Nearly 200 student gardaí will patrol the Papal visit - but they won't be able to actually arrest anyone

These students have no powers of arrest and can not carry out any official tasks that gardaí are permitted to do.

A NUMBER OF students at the Garda College are unhappy after it emerged 180 of them have been ordered to work a 14 hour shift for the Papal Visit for no extra pay, has learned.

Around 180 students, who are due to be attested at the start of next month, have been told they will be performing duties on the Sunday of the visit.

These students have no powers of arrest and can not carry out any official tasks that gardaí are permitted to do.

These students will begin their shifts on Sunday at 8am and are not expected to finish until midnight. They will be manning barriers and acting as makeshift stewards for the event. They will receive breakfast and breaks during the day and will also receive Monday off college duties.

Sources have told that these 180 students will have no powers of arrest and will be wearing blue packs on their back to differentiate them from fully-attested gardaí. Sources added that they have been told they are “walking smiles” and that their attendance is compulsory.

The students have been told that they can make their own way, and at their own expense, to their posts if they live within an hour of the Phoenix Park. If they live outside that catchment area then they have to stay in Templemore for the weekend.

They will not be given any extra subsistence money or travel expenses. They will also not receive any overtime pay.

Most members working the pontiff’s visit are being pooled from the Dublin Metropolitan Region. A smaller number of rural units will also be deployed.

Earlier this year, we revealed how special garda operations targeting gangs and violent criminals in some parts of the capital have had their overtime stopped in a bid to save money for the papal visit.

Garda units based in west Dublin were told that local crime operations cannot be done while on overtime. Gardaí must now carry out these activities as part of their normal tours of duty.

These activities include surveillance operations targeting criminals, as well as community outreach programmes designed to reduce anti-social behaviour in certain areas.

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Many of these operations take place during overtime hours as it is often the case that gardaí do not have enough time to carry out all of their core duties, as well as other specialised tasks, in their normal working day.

Pope Francis is expected to arrive into Ireland on 24 August. He is scheduled to say Mass at the Phoenix Park a day later. He is attending the World Meeting of Families which is being held in Dublin between 21 and 25 August. The pontiff is also due to visit Knock in Co Mayo.

Hundreds of uniformed members will be deployed around the Phoenix Park – many to assist public order units ,with others helping stewards to keep the event safe and to avoid any crushes or bottlenecks.

However, there will also be a large number of specialist units around the park on the day. These will include armed gardaí, bomb sniffer dogs as well as snipers. Members of the Emergency Response Unit will also carry out their own security detail for the Pope while he is in Ireland. Members of the Defence Forces will also be carrying out security details.

The Vatican will also bring its own security team.

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