Proposal to photograph on-duty gardai illegally & # 39; impractical and undemocratic & # 39; to make

A proposal to make it illegal to photograph on-duty gardai is as & # 39; impractical and undemocratic & # 39; considered.

Justice Minister Charlie Flanagan said today that he is in favor of making it illegal to photograph gardai to give them more protection.

Mr Flanagan spoke about alleged online threats against a garda that last week supervised the removal of house demonstrators from a building in the northern city center of Dublin.

His identity was revealed on social media.

Speaking about the proposal, supported by the Garda Representative Association (GRA), Minister Flanagan said: "I am [in favour].

"I think it is something that can be viewed positively, I recognize the fact that it requires identification, this is a problem that arose last week, and I was also somewhat concerned that the images of balaclavas on the streets of Dublin were disturbing.

Minister of Justice and Equality Charlie Flanagan TD

"In fact the [origins] that specific garment goes back to a dark period in our history, I did not like to see it.

"However, I understand that there are circumstances in which the guards must have flame retardant masks for their own protection as part of their uniform and I am sure that the Commissioner will ensure that the correct protocols are complied with at all times. . "

Sinn Fein Justice spokesman Donnchadh O Laoghaire, however, has the proposal "impractical and undemocratic". called.

He said: "It is impractical and unworkable, not to look at undemocratic as an attack on press freedom, and to undermine the ability to defeat gardai for misconduct.

"Has the minister even thought about how this can work, he proposes to ban the press photography of gardai? How would you deal with the innumerable unintentional photo's of gardai? Gardai advised not to go to the photo with tourists. ? Is it illegal to take a picture of a community gardai visiting on a fun community day?

"The implications of such a proposal make it clear that it simply can not work and can not be implemented in a world where photography and camera phones are constantly present.

"We appreciate the need for support and protection for gardai and we support GRA's call for body cameras on gardai that can protect gardai and the public, and we also support the need for online abuse laws. and we hope that the Minister can ensure that my bill to establish a Digital Safety Commissioner is continued by the government, but this proposal is poorly thought-out, anti-democratic and the minister should just give up. 39;

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