572. Deputy Seán Haughey asked the Minister for Justice and Equality if funding will be provided for the replacement of riot shields for Garda public order units; when the shields were last updated; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [14079/19]
Minister for Justice and Equality (Deputy Charles Flanagan): The Deputy will be aware that there has been an unprecedented level of investment in Garda resources across the State in recent years, in support of the Government’s commitment to ensuring a strong and visible police presence throughout the country to maintain and strengthen community engagement, provide reassurance to citizens and deter crime.
An allocation of €1.76 billion has been provided by Government to An Garda Síochána for 2019. As the Deputy will appreciate, in accordance with Section 26 of the Garda Síochána Act 2005 as amended, the Garda Commissioner is responsible for managing and controlling the administration and business of An Garda Síochána. Further, the allocation of Garda resources, including equipment and specialist equipment such as riot shields, is a matter for the Commissioner, in light of identified operational demands.
I am informed by the Garda authorities that following a review of Garda public order unit equipment, a total of 250 riot shields were purchased by An Garda Síochána and delivered earlier this year. I am further informed by An Garda Síochána that it is satisfied it has adequate resources on hand to meet operational requirements in this regard.