Call for mandatory sentencing for attacks on emergency and front line staff

At a meeting of South Tipperary County Council on Monday members called on the Government to introduce legislation to create powers of mandatory sentencing for persons who cause violence or aggression towards members of the emergency services and front line staff.

At a meeting of South Tipperary County Council on Monday members called on the Government to introduce legislation to create powers of mandatory sentencing for persons who cause violence or aggression towards members of the emergency services and front line staff.

A motion tabled by Cllr.Darren Ryan, was passed by the members.

Cllr. Ryan said it was totally unacceptable that attacks on gardai, fire brigade staff, paramedics and other front line services did not warrant mandatory sentences.

He said attacks had taken place on numerous occasions over the years and in particular over Halloween.

Cllr. Richie Molloy said frontline staff provide essential services and should have every protection possible. A garda was seriously injured at a Halloween bonfire in Clonmel some years ago. Mandatory sentences would make people fearful of engaging in such behaviour.

Cllr. Sylvia Cooney Sheehan said council staff had also come under attack in the past when they went to various areas to remove a stack of material that young people had been building up in advance of Halloween.

The Carrick councillor said that all public spirited people should be protected by law.

“There should be a deterrant. We have to be seen supporting people doing a civic duty,” she said.

Cllr. Marie Murphy said any aggression shown towards front line emergency staff was shameful and there should be mandatory fines as well as sentences.