Mr. Maurice Quinlivan, a Sinn Féin TD from Limerick, has expressed his disapproval of plans to provide Cabinet Ministers with increased protection, including bodyguards and specialised vehicles.
An Garda Sochána examination of personal safety for government parliamentarians was completed recently, and Ministers will soon be able to carry out their responsibilities with greater confidence, knowing that they are better protected than they were previously.
The review was launched in the wake of the murder of Tory MP David Ames in the United Kingdom. It also followed a number of incidents, including protests outside ministers’ residences, which prompted growing worries about the safety of politicians in the United Kingdom.
Maurice Quinlivan, a Sinn Féin TD, believes that significant study is now required before any conclusion can be reached.
This would surely have an impact on services, with up to 40 garda being removed from frontline responsibilities at a time when crime is having a major impact on our communities and the lives of ordinary people, Deputy Quinlivan said the Limerick Post.
“This is something that needs to be carefully considered before any decisions are taken. Garda numbers in Limerick need to be increased, as reaction times are often extremely slow due to a paucity of officers on the streets of the city. Unfortunately, several of my colleagues from around the state have informed me of similar issues in their own communities. We need to know how the administration intends to address the growing need for better policing while also taking into consideration all security issues. “There has to be a more effective method to do both,” he continued.
Niall Collins, a Fianna Fáil TD and Minister of State at the Department of Further and Higher Education, was approached by the Limerick Post to inquire about if he would be provided with increased security.
This, he explained, “apparently, was intended primarily for Cabinet Ministers as opposed to Ministers of State,” and hence did not apply to him.