Gardaí still stationed outside Cosgrave’s home five weeks after death

Security arrangements likely be stood down at end of formal review

Former taoiseach Liam Cosgrave, who died last month, pictured in 2014 when he donated the papers of his father, W.T. Cosgrave, to the Royal Irish Academy. Photograph: Dara Mac Dónaill.

Gardaí are still providing security outside the home of recently deceased former taoiseach Liam Cosgrave five weeks after his death.

It is understood the 24/7 Garda security detail will soon be stood down.

All former taoisigh are entitled to a full time Garda security presence at their home after they leave office.

The standard procedure following the death of a person receiving Garda protection is for a security review to be carried out by gardaí, and an application then made to the Department of Justice to stand down the Garda presence.


That process is understood to be still underway in relation to the security presence at Mr Cosgrave’s home, but a source in the Department said the arrangements will almost certainly be brought to an end after the formal process concludes.

“There would be no appetite in the Department to maintain the security after the person in question has died,” the source said.

The formal process in relation to the Garda security detail is “near completion”, the source confirmed.

Former taoiseach Liam Cosgrave died on October 4th, aged 97. The ex-leader of Fine Gael was taoiseach from 1973 to 1977.

Gardaí provide security to numerous former taoisigh, and a Garda on duty is in many cases stationed in a small hut at the front of the home.

The continued security detail at the late Mr Cosgrave's home was revealed during the RTÉ Radio One Liveline programme on Friday.

A spokesman for the gardaí said “following the death of a protected person, An Garda Síochána conducts a full security review and a determination on security requirements is made based on the outcome of that review.”

The Garda review is now complete and has been forwarded to the Department of Justice.

Liveline presenter Joe Duffy received calls from a number of people living in the south Dublin area near the former taoiseach's home who said there was still a Garda security detail outside the house more than a month after his death.

During the show, Mr Duffy said: “It must be an even more boring job when the person you’re protecting is lying, unfortunately, buried in the Golden Bridge Cemetery in Inchicore”.

One caller, Frank Dempsey from Meath, said: “When these regulations were brought in we must remember there was a lot of subversive activity taking place in the country, and someone like a taoiseach or ex-taoiseach or his family, certainly would have needed 24/7 protection.

“But we’re gone past that point now…and that whole issue should be reviewed.”

Former ministers for justice are not provided with Garda security posted to their home addresses, according to a spokesman for the Department.

Jack Power

Jack Power

Jack Power is acting Europe Correspondent of The Irish Times