Fianna Fáil Senator Averil Power has welcomed reports that Diageo plans to ‘contribute’ towards the costs of extra policing for Arthur’s Day.  However, speaking the Seanad this afternoon she said that the full costs should be covered by the company.

Senator Power commented: “Earlier this week I called on Diageo to cover the extra policing costs associated with Arthur’s Day. In response, they stated today that they will make a ‘contribution’ towards these costs. Minister Quinn later told me in the Seanad that arrangements have been made with the organisers of ‘some’ of the Arthurs Day events to recoup the extra policing costs associated with them. While this is welcome, I strongly believe that Diageo should cover the full cost of all of the extra Gardai that are being drafted in tonight to police Arthur’s Day events. 

“This is a very important issue because our Garda resources are already under huge pressure. Unless the Gardai are fully reimbursed for the additional cost of Arthur’s Day, the extra policing tonight will come at the expense of reduced Garda resources later in the year.  Given that Diageo posted profits of €4 billion in profits last year, it is unacceptable that they should take all the profits from this hugely successful commercial event without meeting the full public cost of it. I am calling on them to do the right thing and confirm that this will be the case.” 

Audio of Senator Power’s adjournment debate this afternoon on Arthur’s Day. Minister Ruairí Quinn responded on behalf of the Minister for Justice Alan Shatter TD.