Politicians could receive up to €5,000 towards the cost of installing new security systems following a recommendation from the Houses of the Oireachtas.
A senior source said a decision from the Department of Public Expenditure is imminent on the request which would see the Oireachtas make a contribution of between €3,000-€5,000 on costs such as CCTV, extra alarms and other security measures.
The funding would only be allocated following a recommendation by An Garda Síochána and it would be a contribution towards costs rather than a full payment.
A positive response to the recommendation is expected, which comes on foot of recent concerns about the safety of politicians, particularly female TDs.
Female politicians such as Social Democrats TD Holly Cairns and Sinn Féin TD Louise O’Reilly have both spoken out recently about having to install extra security in their homes. Ms O’Reilly said she placed extra locks in her home, as did Ms Cairns, who also installed CCTV and blinds. This came after threats to their homes and in Ms Cairns’s case, a man appearing multiple times at her front door. A number of other female TDs recently spoke to The Irish Times about being concerned for their safety in their constituency offices and at home.
All female TDs will now be invited to a meeting being organised by Ceann Comhairle Seán Ó Fearghaíl in February to discuss their concerns. They will discuss proposals to target abuse and threats and an all-party group will likely be set up afterwards. The group will formalise official proposals which will also be aimed at ensuring more women enter politics.
Sources in the Department of Public Expenditure have said they are optimistic that extra measures will be recommended to enhance the security of politicians.
“We believe we have made progress on this,” a source said. “We believe a decision is imminent. It follows a submission made for approval by the Oireachtas to make a contribution towards security measures, in circumstances where those security measures are recommended by gardaí.”
“The suggestion is that the Oireachtas would make a contribution of between €3,000–€5,000 to the cost of installing whatever devices or systems the gardaí recommend. It will only be provided on behalf of that recommendation. It will be a contribution towards the cost of the security measures,” a source said.
The amount the TD will get will depend on the outlay the member incurs. Those who install CCTV or security measures would also have to be registered from a list of available providers.