646. Deputy Jim O'Callaghan asked the Minister for Justice the number of Garda band members that have been redeployed for the purposes of policing and enforcing Covid-19 guidelines. [24145/21]
Minister for Justice (Deputy Heather Humphreys): As the Deputy will appreciate, the Garda Commissioner is responsible, by law, for the management and administration of An Garda Síochána, including decisions in relation to the allocation and control of Garda personnel and resources. As Minister, I have no direct role in these matters.
I am advised by the Garda authorities that the Garda band comprises 26 Gardaí and one Inspector. The ability of the Garda band to gather to practise or to perform at public functions or for other fund-raising or community based events has been curtailed due to Covid 19 public health restrictions.
Moreover, the national Covid-19 policing plan necessitated all available resources be deployed to frontline operational policing duties and the members of the Garda band were directed to various Garda stations in the vicinity of Garda Headquarters to perform routine policing duties.
As the Deputy may be aware, Garda members from other non-frontline sections, including Garda Headquarters and the Garda College, were also redeployed to frontline operational duties in support of the national Covid-19 policing plan.
I am advised that this situation remains under review and will be revisited when possible.