Fianna Fáil TD Niall Collins says tougher laws are needed to help protect frontline emergency service workers. The Limerick TD says the Government should introduce specific legislation to make it an offence to assault a member of the gardaí, a fire fighter, a paramedic or nurse.
Deputy Collins made the comments after Limerick firefighters were assaulted as they responded to a bonfire in the city over the weekend.
“The attack on Limerick firefighters as they responded to a fire in Garryowen over the bank holiday weekend is shocking. Unfortunately attacks on firefighters and other members of the emergency services have been on the increase in recent years. It’s nothing short of a disgrace to see a small number of people attack emergency workers as they try to do their jobs,” said Deputy Collins.
“It’s been obvious for quite some time that we do not have strong enough legislation in place to protect emergency workers. There have been far too many assaults on emergency workers right across the country in recent years. I’ve long held the view that we need robust legislation in place to prevent such attacks. Fire and foremost there needs to be strong sentencing for those who attack emergency workers. This is the only way to prevent such attacks in the future.
“In 2012 Fianna Fáil published the ‘Assaults on Emergency Workers Bill’ which aims to protect those working in the frontline of our emergency services. This legislation proposed a minimum 5 year jail term for anyone convicted of assaulting or threatening the life of an on duty garda, nurse, ambulance worker of fireman. This would send a strong signal that such assaults are unacceptable.
“I’ll continue to push for tougher laws to help protect emergency service workers. The message needs to go out loud and clear that it’s utterly unacceptable to attack those working in our emergency services.”