JUSTICE Minister Helen McEntee has confirmed that her Department has received a report from An Garda Siochana outlining security concerns for Ministers that she intends to bring to the Cabinet.
In the first day of this month, The Irish Sun revealed that a high-level security assessment has recommended that all Cabinet ministers be assisted by an armed driver.
Minister McEntee told Newstalk today that she will bring the report to the Cabinet however she refuses to see its details.
“What I can confirm is that the gardener provided me with a report,” she said. However, I have not announced this and I have not brought it to the Cabinet so I do not think it is appropriate for me to go into details until I have done that. ”
The Irish Sun understands that the report, by order of Commissioner Garda Drew Harris, found that there were significant concerns about the safety of Government ministers and recommended that they be protected by armed gardai.
These close guard officers will be assigned to Cabinet ministers and will direct the ministers involved in all engagements.
Armed drivers will work on a week off basis, meaning each minister will be assigned two officers.
Before that, Taoiseach Michael Martin, Tanaiste Leo Varadkar, Justice Minister Helen McEntee and Foreign Secretary Simon Coveney were the only ministers to receive support from garda drivers.
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However, Health Secretary Stephen Donnelly, Treasury Secretary Paschal Donohoe and Public Expenditure Secretary Michael McGrath have been assigned drivers in recent weeks as the garda’s security review raised particular concerns about their safety.
The Garda A review has been requested following a series of incidents outside ministers’ homes.
PROPOSED HOUSE OF OUTDOOR MINISTERS
On one occasion, Gardai was called to Tanaiste Leo Varadkar’s house after a group of people gather to protest against Covid-19 vaccine and restrictions.
A video of the protest showed people shouting insults, including profanities about gay people and false statements about the pandemic.
Gardai has also been called to Health Secretary Stephen Donnelly’s Wicklow home due to anti-vaccination protests.
In 2011 the Government scrapped the garda driver scheme for most Ministers in an attempt to cut costs with ministerial transport costing around 5 million euros a year.
https://www.thesun.ie/news/8214661/helen-mcentee-garda-drivers-ministers-ireland-security/ Report on security concerns for ministers to be made to Cabinet following recommendation by armed driver