Gardaí want to ban people taking and sharing their pictures

Sergeants and inspectors also want obligatory high-vis clothing for cyclists, pedestrians

Photographing or videoing Garda members without their consent and then sharing the images online in a way that identifies them should be criminalised, Garda sergeants and inspectors believe.

Some members of the Association of Garda Sergeants and Inspectors (Agsi) are also calling for new legislation that would make it “obligatory” for cyclists and pedestrians to wear reflective clothing.

And they also want helmets made compulsory for cyclists.

The proposals are set to be debated at the Agsi annual delegate conference in Killarney, Co Kerry, which gets under way on Monday.


The issue of Garda members being photographed and videoed is a contentious one, especially at flashpoint policing events such as emotive demonstrations.

Agsi and the Garda Representative Association (GRA) have both previously said their members were being videoed, sometimes for hours, while being taunted in the hope it would provoke a reaction.

The associations believe very selective segments of video were then published, leading to the members being identified by social media users.

Garda sources with experience of policing protests aimed at blocking the installation of water meters, for example, believe certain members of the force were selected for targeting repeatedly, both online and when policing a protest.

Agsi members from the Dublin Metropolitan Region (DMR) West division have proposed the motion seeking the creation of a new criminal offence in this area.

Online harassment

Their colleagues in Mayo want Agsi to lobby Garda Commissioner Nóirín O'Sullivan to extend more protections from online harassment to the members of the force.

Separately, the call for new legislation to make compulsory hi-vis clothing for pedestrians and cyclists has been tabled by sergeants and inspectors from the Sligo-Leitrim division.

And their colleagues in DMR South Central say that while they do not want the hi-vis clothing for pedestrians, they are seeking it and helmets to be made compulsory for cyclists.

The Road Safety Authority has already dismissed the idea that all pedestrians be forced to wear hi-vis clothing, saying the Republic was "not a police state".

Also set for discussion at the Agsi conference over the next three days are calls for higher expenses and more media training for sergeants and inspectors.

Delegates from the Donegal division are calling for better storage facilities in Garda stations for evidence exhibits. And their colleagues in DMR East want facilities in every Garda station to download and view CCTV.

DMR East delegates want an end to the Garda Síochána Ombudsman Commission (Gsoc)informing Garda members a complaint has been made against them, but not specifying the nature of it.

They say when Gsoc informs members a complaint has been made but a decision has been taken by the complaints body not to pursue it, the members are never told what the complaint was.

Conor Lally

Conor Lally

Conor Lally is Security and Crime Editor of The Irish Times