Gardaí need clear instructions on quarantine powers says Sligo/Leitrim TD

Deputy Martin Kenny's planning amendment bill passes to Committee Stage

Deputy Martin Kenny

Sinn Féin spokesperson on Justice Martin Kenny TD today called on the Minister for Justice Helen McEntee to meet with Garda representative organisations, and ensure that they are given clear instruction and guidance regarding their powers to enforce quarantine on those arriving in Ireland.

Deputy Kenny said: “At this late stage, it is shocking to hear the Association of Garda Sergeants and Inspectors say that the gardaí have had no operational guidance or instructions on how to enforce the quarantine restrictions.

“In the context where gardaí are expected to check on people who have recently entered this state and have not engaged with the Department of Health’s quarantine process, this is unacceptable.

“According to garda representatives, the only gardaí enforcing quarantine belong to the Garda National Immigration Bureau and they have conducted some house and hotel visits.

"But in the absence of proper instruction and guidance to gardaí generally, can we hope to see full compliance from those who are not engaging with the Department? Considering the number of people being allowed to enter the state, the gardaí in general will have to be active in enforcing quarantine restrictions.

“I am calling on Minister McEntee to meet the Garda representative organisations and ensure that the Commissioner issues full and clear instructions to the frontline gardaí who have enforce quarantine guidelines.

“This situation and the disgraceful scenes in Dublin at the weekend when anti-mask protesters confronted gardaí on the streets, highlights the need to vaccinate gardaí urgently.

“Neither I nor the garda representative organisations are calling for priority for gardaí over more vulnerable sections of society. But if gardaí must confront people who refuse to take necessary precautions and indeed spit and cough in their faces, then their need to be vaccinated is clear.”

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