Minister for Justice Frances Fitzgerald announced this morning plans for the recruitment of 500 new gardaí in the next year.
The announcement was made at the graduation of 94 gardaí at Templemore college this morning.
Garda Commissioner Nóirín O’Sullivan has stated that the new gardaí are being posted all over the country to help alleviate violent crime.
The Garda Commissioner has rejected allegations of political policing, despite this decision to recruit an army of new gardaí.
The Commissioner and gardaí have come under much scrutiny following the dawn raids last February and their treatment of, and attitude towards peaceful water protesters thereafter; and due to the recent release of the controversial Fenelly Commission Interim Report.
She has also stood by a decision by garda superintendent Orla McPartlin not to allow Anti-Austerity Alliance members to fund raise in South West Dublin, stating that “the collection permit has been refused because I believe that the proceeds of the collection or a portion thereof would be used to facilitate protests sponsored by the Anti Austerity Alliance.”
Superintendent McPartlin referenced Section 9 (c) of the Street & House to House Collections Act 1962, which states that “the proceeds of the collection or any portion thereof would be used in such a manner as to encourage, either directly or indirectly, the commission of an unlawful act” in relation to the recent water protests.
This decision is in breach of Article 40 of the constitution with states that citizens have the right to “assemble peaceably and without arms” and that “the right of free assembly may be exercised shall contain no political, religious or class discrimination” despite the obvious discriminate of the Anti-Austerity Alliance in relation to recent protests.
Minister Fitzgerald has also stated that there may be a need for new protocols on documents and SIM cards following the leak of the controversial and illegal Operation Mizen which involved gathering private information on protestors.