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05 Jul 2022

Calls for mandatory sentencing for attacks on Gardaí and frontline workers

Calls for mandatory sentencing for attacks on Gardaí and frontline workers

figures from the Department of Justice revealed assaults on Gardaí have risen by more than 50 per cent in the past five years.

The Garda Representative Association (GRA) is calling for mandatory sentences for those who are convicted of attacking Gardaí and other frontline workers.

The GRA said it believes the Department of Justice can work with Gardaí to deliver tangible deterrents as figures from the Department of Justice revealed assaults on Gardaí have risen by more than 50 per cent in the past five years.

The GRA represents over 12,000 rank and file Gardaí and while its conference opened in Killarney this morning, attendance numbers are restricted due to Covid-19 which will mean a limited number of motions will be discussed.

Some of the issues of concern are a call for the Garda Commissioner to address training for local detective and divisional protective services along with serious manpower issues in districts around the country as well as new legislation for emergency response drivers, but the issue of assaults on Gardaí is of extreme serious concern.

4,500 Gardaí were attacked over the past five years, an increase of 57 per cent, with over 1,000 of those attacks occurring last year.

Figures also showed that Gardaí dealt with over 45,000 public order offences across the country during the pandemic, something that President of GRA Frank Thornton says serve as a stark reminder of the treacherous job that is modern day policing in Ireland.

The association said an attack on the Gardaí is an attack on society and the criminal justice system has to get tougher on those who attack Gardaí and frontline workers.

The Deputy Garda Commissioner and Minister for Justice Helen McEntee are due to address the conference later today while Minister McEntee will also discuss the need for extra mental health services that are crucial in supporting the work of Gardaí as they deal with traumatic incidents.

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