‘Strange decision’ gardaí would be sent to Disneyland France to help Irish tourists, Dáil hears

Social Democrats TD Jennifer Whitmore ‘really perplexed’ to see reports gardaí being sent to theme park ‘to police these tourist hotspots’

It seems a “strange decision” that gardaí would be sent to Disneyland in France to help Irish tourists, the Dáil has heard.

Social Democrats TD Jennifer Whitmore said she was “really perplexed” to see reports there were gardaí being sent to Disneyland “to police these tourist hotspots”.

Ms Whitmore was referring to reports in The Irish Mirror, which said the French ambassador to Ireland Vincent Guérend said a pilot scheme that saw gardaí work in northern France last summer was so successful that it has been extended to other parts of the country this year, including Disneyland.

Ms Whitmore said migrant campsites were being burned out “literally a stone’s throw from the Dáil” while the Taoiseach had raised concerns about “gardaí numbers and whether we have enough numbers of gardaí to police the far-right in this country”.


“Indeed, you could go to any community across the country and people would like to see more gardaí on the streets,” she said.

“It seems like a very, very strange decision that this is actually the second year, the previous year they were sent over to another tourist spot in France to police these hotspots so that Irish tourists can see Irish gardaí if they have any questions.”

The Wicklow TD said she was “very interested” to hear the Tánaiste’s opinions on the issue.

In response, Mr Martin said from time to time “we do have very creative diplomacy and in terms of exchanges and learning of expertise and that”.

“The next thing could be a parliamentary trip to Disneyland, it could be cross-party,” the Tánaiste joked.

“We might get very valuable insights into how things operate. It’s been a long time since I’ve been in Disneyland myself ... Opportunity beckons.”

Mr Martin added there were significant resource allocations being made to recruit more gardaí, with the State hoping to secure 1,000 more gardaí annually.

He said he would have to get context and the “full policy wraparound” as to why gardaí were in Disneyland.

Sarah Burns

Sarah Burns

Sarah Burns is a reporter for The Irish Times