Government should revisit law on assault on Gardai in reform of An Garda Sichana

Fianna Fáil Councillor, John Paul Feeley in welcoming much need reform of the structure of the Gardai called for this reform to include more appropriate protection for Gardai out doing their work in our community who are subject to assault. ‘In the light of recent controversies it is essential that sight of the great service given by An Garda Siochana on a daily basis and our duty as a society to protect Gardai and ensure that the those who assault them are subject to severe and appropriate punishment.’ The Garda Representative Association (GRA) have indicated that as many as 1,000 gardai will be the subject of severe assault this year and those who perpetrate such assaults are only subject to the standard penalties available under the Non-Fatal Offences Against the Persons Act. There are separate and special penalties for those who commit Capital Murder, that is the murder of a Garda in the course of their duty but there is no extra penalty for those who assault and severely injure a member of the Gardai. ‘I believe that the assault of a member of the Gardai or indeed on a firefighter or ambulance personnel acting in the course of their duty should be treated as an attack on our wider society and dealt with accordingly There were proposals before the Dail to put in place a maximum five-year sentence but these were rejected by the Government parties. It is vital that this be now revisited.’ Concluding Councillor Feeley has urged that as part of forthcoming legislation that this matter be revisited and that urgent action be taken to ensure that Gardai on the ground get an appropriate and effective level of resources so that they can properly protect our community.