Sinn Féin spokesperson on Justice Martin Kenny TD has called on the government to reverse its decision not to prioritise members of An Garda Síochána in the rollout of Covid-19 vaccinations.
Teachta Kenny reiterated the calls by the Association of Garda Sergeants and Inspectors, who described the decision of having “scant regard for the welfare and well-being of members of An Garda Siochana who have been working a 12-hour emergency roster now for a full year.”
Speaking this evening, Teachta Kenny said:
“Since the onset of the pandemic 12 months ago, the Gardaí have put the health and safety of themselves, and by extension their loved ones, on the line to keep our communities safe.
“I am horrified to hear that the government has thrown away the plans for the vaccine rollout, and removed any prioritisation for our Gardaí.
“The fact that members of the force had to hear this news today from the media before hearing it directly from a government minister was another kick in the teeth.
“The nature of the job that Gardaí do puts them at heightened risk of contracting the virus and, as lockdowns continue, the threat to their health does too.
“Anti-social behaviour continues to rise in many areas, and we have heard of many instances of Gardai being spat at and assaulted during the course of their work.
“With that in mind, it makes zero sense and beggars belief that someone without an underlying condition and able to work from home could get the vaccine in advance of Gardaí working on the very frontline.
“The Minister for Justice needs to intervene here, stand up for members of the force, and get the government to reverse its decision.”