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Holding 'Yes' campaign photocall at Garda station 'wasn't appropriate'

The 'Yes' campaign photocall took place at Pearse Street Garda Station in Dublin
The 'Yes' campaign photocall took place at Pearse Street Garda Station in Dublin

A 'Yes' campaign event held at a Dublin Garda station 'wasn't appropriate', a spokesperson has said.

An Garda Siochana said the event over the weekend was "in good faith" and was designed to promote the fact people can register at Garda stations. 

A member of the Gardai participated in a photocall organised by the 'Yes' equality campaign. A uniformed member of the Gardai and a retired judge, Catherine McGuinness, were both photographed with an enlarged voter registration form outside Pearse Street garda station yesterday. 

A statement released by the force today read: "In relation to yesterday’s photocall at Pearse Street Garda Station in Dublin, while the event was held in good faith to promote the fact that people can register at Garda stations to vote in the upcoming referenda, it was not appropriate for this kind of photocall to take place given An Garda Siochana’s status as an apolitical and impartial organisation."

The photocall was criticised by elements of 'No' campaign. 

Mothers and Fathers Matter campaign spokesman Keith Mills said the presence of a uniformed garda at a yes campaign event as a “sinister development”.
 
She said it was a flagrant attempt to politicise the An Gardaí Siochana.
 
Mr Mills, who advocates a 'no' vote, said: “We have not had the politicising of the gardaí since the foundation of the State and we shouldn’t have it now just because there is a political consensus among the elite in Ireland about this issue.”