new laws | 

Jail sentences for assaults on gardaí to be increased to maximum of 12 years

“We should remember we still live in a country where there is huge support for the gardaí”

Minister Simon Harris

Neil Fetherstonhaugh

Jail sentences for people who assault gardaí and those who ram their vehicles will be increased to a maximum of 12 years under new legislation.

Justice Minister Simon Harris is to introduce longer jail terms in new proposals being brought to Cabinet.

The extension of the penalty for assault causing harm will be part of the Criminal Justice Bill, which is currently making its way through the Oireachtas.

The measure would also apply to other emergency service staff - including hospital staff, prison workers, members of the Defence Forces, fire brigade or ambulance staff.

Minister Harris said laws need to be updated.

"We should remember we still live in a country where there is huge support for the gardaí," he said.

"We live in a country where confidence levels in our police force are above that of most other European countries.

"We also need to live in a country where we don't, as politicians, wring our hands and condemn - though condemning is important.

"We actually need to update the laws to support the gardaí," he added.

Minister Harris will also bring a measure to Cabinet to again extend the licence for alcohol to be sold outdoors.

The measure was brought in during the COVID-19 pandemic, and will be extended until November until longer-term legislation is looked at.

Enterprise Minister Simon Coveney will also ask the Cabinet to approve extending business fuel supports to companies which use Kerosene - while also bringing a memo to provide more secure contract terms for seasonal workers in Ireland.

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