Sinn Féin Aengus Ó Snodaigh TD has today raised the impact that the current overtime ban in place in An Garda Síochána will have over the critical Halloween period.
Speaking in the Dáil, Deputy Ó Snodaigh said:
“The Halloween period is annually the busiest and most dangerous period for frontline emergencies and local communities across the State with a significant increase in the level of anti-social and illegal activity.
“There is genuine fear in communities at present with an upsurge in anti-social behaviour already related to illegal fireworks and gathering of materials for bonfires that Garda authorities will not have the resources or capacity available to cope with an upsurge in illegal activity.
“Over previous years, work behind the scenes involving Dublin City Council, youth services, community groups and An Garda Síochána has promoted safe activities and events over the Halloween period and it has been a positive time for communities.
“I am fearful this year that the Garda overtime ban will expose communities to dangerous fires and anti-social behaviour and will also stop the work of Dublin City Council in removing bonfire material from public parks and flat complexes.
“Tensions run high at this time of year and where gaps arise, serious violence can occur and public safety and order is threatened.
“I am therefore calling on the Minister for Justice to adequately fund An Garda Síochána & for the Garda Commissioner to lift the current Garda overtime ban that is in place and will keep our communities safe and secure over the next number of weeks.
“If he can spend €15 millions on security for US President Trump and Vice-President Mike Pence, or lift it for the policing of the recent FAI Cup semi-final between Shamrock Rovers and Bohemians then he has to protect communities and Dublin City Council frontline staff over the Halloween period.”