690. Deputy Paul Donnelly asked the Minister for Justice when the riot shields and helmets of an Garda Síochána were last updated; and when they will be next updated. [50667/21]
Minister for Justice (Deputy Heather Humphreys): As the Deputy will be aware, under the Garda Síochána Act 2005, the Garda Commissioner is responsible for the administration and management of An Garda Síochána, including the purchase of resources. As Minister, I have no direct role in these matters.
I am informed by the Garda authorities that public order shields and helmets are specific items purchased by the procurement section of An Garda Síochána, with input from the Public Order Unit to ensure that helmets and shields purchased are compatible with all other items of equipment provided to that unit, and that purchased equipment meet the required safety standards.
I am further informed by the Garda authorities that riot shields were last purchased in December 2020 and riot helmets were last purchased in November 2020.
I am advised that the Public Order Unit reviews the safety and protection levels of the equipment issued to it on an ongoing basis and requests the procurement of additional and/or replacement equipment as and when required.