Irish Council for Civil Liberties wants Gardaí to show discretion with new Covid-19 restrictions

Irish Council for Civil Liberties wants Gardaí to show discretion with new Covid-19 restrictions
A Garda checkpoint in Cork last month. Pic: Dan Linehan

with reporting from Press Association.

The Executive Director of the Irish Council for Civil Liberties, Liam Herrick has called on Gardaí to exercise sensitivity and discretion when implementing the new regulations on travel restrictions introduced for the bank holiday weekend.

The public has been very supportive of efforts so far, Mr Herrick told RTÉ radio’s News at One.

He accepted that the measures were necessary and proportionate, but there was a need to make sure that the new regulations are used exercising “a high level of discretion.”

This is a very challenging time for gardaí, he said, but he would prefer if policing by consent was continued rather than introducing stricter measures.

Safeguards should be introduced, he said so that every single implementation of the new measures was recorded to ensure that they were evenly used.

Meanwhile, the Gardaí have been issued with equipment to protect them from being spat on by the public.

Garda Commissioner Drew Harris said spit guards have been given out to protect members of the force if any members of the public spit at them.

He said: “All of this is being done in terms of proportionality… as part of our response we have introduced these spit guards for the duration of the crisis and they will be used very sparingly.

"They are a further option in terms of personal protective equipment.”

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