Sinn Féin justice spokesperson Martin Kenny TD has called on the Minister for Justice Charlie Flanagan to provide adequate PPE for An Garda Síochána on patrol.
The comments come after news emerged this week that there had been 31 incidents of spitting or coughing at Gardaí since the outbreak of Covid-19.
Deputy Kenny said;
“It is clear that officers must be adequately protected and assured that they are not being put at a heightened risk from the people engaging in such behaviour, while also being assured that they themselves are not presenting a risk to the people with whom they are coming into contact.
“There are Garda checkpoints across the State this weekend to encourage the public not to travel outside their 2km limit from home unless for necessary journeys. It seems that the Gardaí staffing these checkpoints have not been provided with any protective equipment even though they are in close contact with the public.
“Gardaí could be asymptomatic and unknowingly spread Covid-19. I have asked Minister Flanagan if facilities are being provided in the Garda stations to remain socially distant and the proper PPE supplied to prevent spread of Covid-19 in, for example, in court houses where they attend and mix with colleagues from different Garda stations.
“It is of the utmost importance that An Garda Síochána are protected in their work on the frontline and that they and the public are assured Gardaí are not presenting a risk by being close to people without any protection.
“I am calling on Minister Flanagan to make a statement on this matter and do all in his power to remedy this dangerous situation which is apparent to anyone stopped at a checkpoint or attending at court, or even just watching the news.”