Drew Harris to push for gardaí to be moved up vaccine priority list

ireland
Drew Harris To Push For Gardaí To Be Moved Up Vaccine Priority List Drew Harris To Push For Gardaí To Be Moved Up Vaccine Priority List
Garda Commissioner Drew Harris speaks to the media after a number of people were arrested following an anti-lockdown protest in Dublin on Saturday.
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James Cox

The Garda Commissioner has committed to pushing for gardaí to be moved up the vaccine priority list following Saturday's anti-lockdown protests in Dublin.

Drew Harris met with representatives from both the Garda Representative Association (GRA) and Association of Garda Sergeants & Inspectors (AGSI) today.

The GRA claims its members were spat at, had bottles of urine thrown at them and were forced into close physical altercations during the demonstration.

GRA president Frank Thornton says gardaí are too far down the vaccine priority list.

Protestors confront Gardai during an anti-lockdown protest in Dublin city centre.

Mr Thornton: “We are hoping that the Commissioner will take our concerns, which we have continuously raised since the introduction of vaccinations to the Minister for Health (Stephen Donnelly) and Government. As it stands we are number 10 on the list which is too far down we believe.”

Fireworks, various objects and spit were all aimed at gardaí as the anti-lockdown protest on Grafton Street turned violent on Saturday, with 23 arrests made.

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Three gardaí were injured with one treated in hospital.

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After the event, the GRA issued a statement which said “rioting in Dublin reinforces the need for early vaccination of gardaí”.

Damien McCarthy who represents the DMR South Central Division, where many of the gardaí on duty on Saturday are based, said the incidents highlighted the multitude of dangers faced by gardaí policing the Covid restrictions.

Garda McCarthy said: “It is clear that a certain element turned up at the demonstration to inflict harm on gardaí.

“Our priority is the health and welfare of members and our immediate concern is that those injured on Saturday make a full recovery and receive all the support they need."

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