Cork North Central TD, Billy Kelleher has warned that the lives of ordinary people are being put at risk by the mindless and senseless actions of thugs attacking fire and rescue workers.

Deputy Kelleher was commenting after two separate incidents of hooligans attacking firemen attending emergencies in the city at the weekend.

“This is simply disgusting, and is putting the lives of ordinary Cork people at risk when they need the support of either the fire or ambulance services.

“A number of years ago, I was very vocal in supporting the introduction of Anti-Social Behaviour Orders. These ASBOs need to be used more by the Gardaí to deter and reprimand those engaging in such negative behaviour.

“Fianna Fáil previously introduced legislation, The Assaults on Emergency Workers Bill 2012, to ensure that all those working on the front line are protected and that those convicted of a serious attack on an emergency worker are dealt with appropriately.

“Regrettably the Fine Gael led Government failed to support this key piece of legislation. Our party have now updated this Bill and will be pushing the Government once again on the issue.

“Senseless attacks such as the one carried out on these emergency workers have no place in our society and will not be tolerated. It is absolutely apparent that we need further measures to be put in place to deter anyone who threatens assault or causes harm to these workers.

“In general, it’s a small number of teenagers engaging in this behavior. They and their parents need to he held to account. It’s not acceptable in 2018 for our emergency workers to be treated so disgracefully.

“There can simply be no tolerance for anyone attacking our emergency workers,” concluded Kelleher.