Gardaí 'don't know what their powers are' under new Covid restrictions

Gardaí 'don't know what their powers are' under new Covid restrictions

The Association of Garda Sergeants and Inspectors (AGSI) are seeking clarification as to what the role of Gardaí will be as Ireland moves to level 3 of restrictions.

The general secretary of the Association of Garda Sergeants and Inspectors (AGSI), Antoinette Cunningham has called for clarification of what the force is being asked to do with regard to compliance with Level 3 restrictions.

Speaking on Morning Ireland this morning, Ms Cunningham asked why details of enforcement measures were not included for each level of the Living with Covid plan. 

If such details had been included, she said, it would mean the public and the gardaí "would know what would happen as each level was introduced."

She said: "Increased visibility of gardaí was always positive, but the force would prefer to continue to police by consent."

Gardaí have to manage public and political expectations, but they still don’t know what their powers are.

Responding to criticism of the role of gardaí during recent anti-mask protests, Ms Cunningham pointed out that the right to protest peacefully remained, but there was the question of whether it was appropriate for that to happen during a national pandemic.

General secretary of the Association of Garda Sergeants and Inspectors (AGSI), Antoinette Cunningham. Picture: AGSI
General secretary of the Association of Garda Sergeants and Inspectors (AGSI), Antoinette Cunningham. Picture: AGSI

She said: “We have to manage the situation as best we can.” 

Ms Cunningham urged the public to act responsibly.  

She said that there was an expectation that the gardaí could “go in and break up” such protests, but they had the power only to deal with the organisers not those attending such events.

"Different situations will require a graduated garda response," she added.

More in this section

Puzzles logo
IE-logo

Puzzles hub

Visit our brain gym where you will find simple and cryptic crosswords, sudoku puzzles and much more. Updated at midnight every day.

Puzzles logo
IE-logo

Puzzles hub

Visit our brain gym where you will find simple and cryptic crosswords, sudoku puzzles and much more. Updated at midnight every day.