Sligo – Leitrim Fine Gael T.D. Frank Feighan has said that members of An Garda Siochana are set to receive an order of 16,000 spit guard protection devices in the coming days in order to help to protect our local Gardai from people who choose to spit, bite and cough at our officers during this COVID19 National Emergency.
He was speaking after an incident in Sligo town led to a woman been sentenced to four weeks in prison yesterday evening for coughing at Gardai in Sligo.
Deputy Feighan said “I, like most people, was shocked and sadden to hear of the incident which took place in Sligo this week, where a woman willingly and with intent chose to cough at local gardai trying to enforce the social distancing requirements in the town. The person in question was subsequently arrested, charged and jailed under new laws provided to the gardai under the emergency legislation this week.
“No Garda member should have to face this level of harm without the proper supports in place to deal with it!
“It is hard to understand how a person would choose to act in this way during such a national crisis. However, as an incident such as this has now occurred, I feel that our local police force now needs better protection and support from this sort of threat going forward.
“As a result, I raised this issue directly with the Minister for Justice Charlie Flanagan last night at a Fine Gael phone call briefing. I called for better supports for our gardai on the ground and for this support to be forthcoming without further delay. He advised me that an order of 16,000 spit guards have been ordered and it is his hope that they will be with our gardai in the coming days to ensure they are protected from such incidents in the future.
“It is our role as politicians to act in the best interests and to protect the Gardai and all our frontline services and to ensure that they have the laws, equipment and the protection needed to conduct their job in our communities.
I want to commend the members of An Garda Siochana through the country for playing such a vital role in our communities during this national emergency.
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