We need your help now

Support from readers like you keeps The Journal open.

You are visiting us because we have something you value. Independent, unbiased news that tells the truth. Advertising revenue goes some way to support our mission, but this year it has not been enough.

If you've seen value in our reporting, please contribute what you can, so we can continue to produce accurate and meaningful journalism. For everyone who needs it.

security advice

Politicians told to avoid holding clinics alone and to consider getting a personal alarm

Gardaí have issued fresh security advice to Oireachtas members today.

POLITICIANS HAVE BEEN urged to consider a personal alarm and to avoid holding their constituency clinics alone in fresh security advice issued to Oireachtas members.

The information, seen by The Journal, was sent to all members of the Oireachtas by email today, just a week after a bag of excrement was thrown at Fianna Fáil Minister of State Anne Rabbitte and Fine Gael TD Ciarán Cannon while attending a public meeting in Galway.

Following the incident, Justice Minister Simon Harris spoke to Garda Commissioner Drew Harris telling reporters that attacks on a public representative “extraordinarily seriously”.

Harris said that “ensuring that public representatives can go about their business on behalf of their constituents in a free and safe way is absolutely essential”.

The leaflet to politicians today entitled ‘Personal Security Advice for Elected Officials’, was drawn up by the National Crime Prevention Office. 

It encourages politicians to vary their routes travelling to and from work, have their mobile phone with them and charged at all times as well as considering meeting constituents in a local coffee shop rather than their home.

If a politician does visit a constituent at their home, gardaí state that they should let another person know where they are going. Politicians should also carry out a “mini risk assessment” when approaching the property and should note what locks are on the door.

The gardaí advise not holding the meeting in the person’s kitchen as “it provides many possibilities for the use of dangerous weapons”.

Gardaí have also said politicians should avoid empty carriages while using public transport and to wear comfortable shoes in order to be able to move quickly.

While a politician may be happy to have constituents call to their home, the gardaí state they should consider a personal alarm and they should liaise with their local Crime Prevention Officers so the home can undergo a security assessment. 

A number of incidents involving TDs have highlighted the issue of security in recent years. 

A man was arrested in September after a car was driven through the gates of the home of Sinn Fein justice spokesperson Martin Kenny. Speaking about the incident last week, Kenny said it had had a major impact on his family and has been a huge trauma.

Last year, Tánaiste Micheál Martin said he has been “roared and screamed at” while walking down the street.

Your Voice
Readers Comments
This is YOUR comments community. Stay civil, stay constructive, stay on topic. Please familiarise yourself with our comments policy here before taking part.
Leave a Comment
    Submit a report
    Please help us understand how this comment violates our community guidelines.
    Thank you for the feedback
    Your feedback has been sent to our team for review.

    Leave a commentcancel