Crime office urged for tourists who fall victim in Dublin

Irish Tourist Assistance Service calls for Garda office move to city centre location

The request by the tourist assistance service was made in a letter in recent months to Minister for Justice Frances Fitzgerald and posted on Tuesday to the lobbying register. Photograph: The Irish Times

The request by the tourist assistance service was made in a letter in recent months to Minister for Justice Frances Fitzgerald and posted on Tuesday to the lobbying register. Photograph: The Irish Times

 

A tourism body wants the Government to provide a seven-day Dublin city centre drop-in centre for visitors who fall victim to crimes such as robbery and assault while in the capital, according to returns to the State’s new lobbying register.

The Irish Tourist Assistance Service, to which Garda stations refer tourist crime victims for support, wants the Department of Justice to move it from its current office in the docklands to a city centre location that “is easy to find for a tourist who has been a victim of crime”.

The request was made in a letter in recent months to Frances Fitzgerald, the Minister for Justice, which was posted on Tuesday to the new lobbying register.

Deadline

The deadline for mandatory returns to the lobbying regulator for the inaugural period – covering September to December – expires on Wednesday, prompting a deluge of submissions from companies and professional lobbyists this week.

Among the myriad activities detailed is a meeting, facilitated by Datalex chairman and former Bord na gCon chairman Paschal Taggart, between an Irish beach volleyball champion and junior minister Jimmy Deenihan to discuss the provision of inland facilities for the sport.

David Lydon, the head of the corporate practice of Dublin law firm McCann Fitzgerald, has also been lobbying the Government to end the requirement for unlimited companies to identify themselves as such in their titles.

Tobacco companies

Trade unions and charities are among the most vociferous lobbyists, according to the register. The activities of tobacco companies are also prominent, ahead of the introduction of new plain packaging rules scheduled for May.

John Player & Sons complained to the Department of Health it is operating in “an information vacuum” over the new rules. It also lobbied the Revenue Commissioners over the “discovery of counterfeit Irish tax stamps on fake Irish tobacco packs” for the first time in five years, it claimed.

Lobbying for development rezoning also features heavily on the register. Vanisland, a company linked to Ballymore developer Sean Mulryan, retained a consultant to meet with Independent TD Catherine Murphy to discuss future developments in Leixlip, within her Kildare constituency.

There were also scores of lobbying activities undertaken on behalf of the hotel, road haulage and pharmaceutical industries, among others.