The Justice Minister has denied that Gardaí are mounting covert surveillance on the leaders of the anti-water charges movement.
Frances Fitzgerald has told the Dáil that a public order unit set up by the Gardaí is not spying on politicians, but merely gathering information that's already in the public domain.
Opponents of water charges say the so-called Operation Mizen has put them under surveillance simply because of their stance on water.
But in the Dáil the minister said the unit is only there to make sure water protests are safe.
"Operation Mizen is not a surveillance programme contrary to assertions that have been made recently.
"I have been informed by the Garda Commissioner that Operation Mizen was established by An Garda Síochána as a national co-ordination office to provide appropriate policing responses to maintain public order and to maintain the safety of all involved in protests."
Justice Min. @FitzgeraldFrncs says Operation Mizen is not a surveillance operation of Public Reps or anyone else involved in water protests— Páraic Gallagher (@paraicgallagher) October 20, 2015