Gardai standing at catering tent were performing “traffic duties”

16 Dec

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Clare Daly, TD: Questioned Justice Minister about Gardai at coursing event

Three Gardai who were photographed standing next to a catering tent within the grounds of Glin coursing club were engaged in traffic management, according to the Minister for Justice.

The uniformed Gardai, who were photographed facing away from a vehicle and alongside a tent selling sandwiches to coursers, were performing “normal traffic duties”, Minister Frances Fitzgerald stated in response to a Dail question from Clare Daly TD.

The Gardai were present at the animal cruelty venue on both days of the weekend event. On Saturday, 4th October, two Gardaí “were present for approximately half an hour” and on the following day, three Gardaí were there “for approximately half an hour”.

Addressing an earlier question from Deputy Daly about who would be paying for the Garda presence, Minister Fitzgerald stated: “the Coursing Club will not be covering the cost of the Garda presence.”

The text of the Dail Q&A appears below…

Parliamentary Questions and Answers
Questions 120 – Answered on 11th December, 2014

Clare Daly, TD (Dublin North, United Left)

To ask the Minister for Justice and Equality further to Parliamentary Question No. 126 of 16 October 2014, in which she states that she has asked the commissioner for information on the specific issue referred to by this Deputy and that she will reply directly to this Deputy; if she will provide the information as requested.

Minister for Justice and Equality (Ms. Frances Fitzgerald)

I have been informed by the Garda Commissioner that the annual Glin Coursing Meeting was held on Saturday 4 and Sunday 5 October, 2014 at Ballinagoul, Co Limerick. The ground at Ballinagoul is located in the Garda District of Newcastlewest, Co. Limerick. The event attracted a significant number of patrons on Saturday 4 October and a larger number of patrons on Sunday 5 October.

As with other events that attract a considerable crowd of people, local Garda management deemed it necessary to have Gardaí present. The duties performed by Gardaí were normal traffic duties, as performed at all local public events that attract large numbers of people and the Coursing Club will not be covering the cost of the Garda presence.

On Saturday, 4 October, 2014 two Gardaí attended the event referred to by the Deputy and were present for approximately half an hour. Three Gardaí were in attendance for approximately half an hour at the event on Sunday 5 October, 2014.

Questions 126 – Answered on 16th October, 2014

Clare Daly, TD (Dublin North, United Left)

To ask the Minister for Justice and Equality the reason three uniformed Gardaí were present at Glin hare coursing meeting on 3 and 4 October 2014; their purpose at the event; and if the coursing club will be covering the costs of the Garda presence.

Minister for Justice and Equality (Ms. Frances Fitzgerald)

As the Deputy will appreciate, the Garda Commissioner is responsible for the distribution of all resources, including personnel, among the Garda Regions, Divisions and Districts. Garda management keep this distribution under continuing review in the context of crime trends and policing priorities so as to ensure that the best possible use is made of these resources.

I have asked the Commissioner for information on the specific issue referred to by the Deputy, and when it is to hand, I will write directly to the Deputy.

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