herald

Friday 9 December 2016

Fine Gael asks for review of TDs' and senators' security

Graham Turley. Photo: Mark Condren
Graham Turley. Photo: Mark Condren

Fine Gael has asked the Oireachtas to carry out a review of security of TDs and senators and their staff following the murder of British MP Jo Cox, the Herald has learned.

Newly-elected party chairman Martin Heydon asked the Clerk of the Dail yesterday to re-examine security arrangements.

The Kildare South TD said he has been contacted by fellow deputies and members of the public who have been left shocked and saddened by the Labour MP's brutal.

Mr Heydon said TDs' and senators' staff feel particularly vulnerable, and the issue of security should be examined.

"My heart goes out to the family of Jo Cox. They must be wondering that if she hadn't come through the election, would she still be alive today?" he said.

"It shows the sense of vulnerability around public representatives and their staff, who are simply trying to do their job."

Sympathy

Mr Heydon confirmed that he had contacted Clerk of the Dail Peter Finnegan yesterday and requested the review.

"It's timely and appropriate," he said.

Meanwhile, journalist Veronica Guerin's widower has expressed sympathy for Ms Cox's husband, Brendan, and the couple's two children.

Speaking on RTE Radio One's Today with Sean O'Rourke, Graham Turley described Mr Cox as being in the same position in which he found himself 20 years ago.

"She was a woman just doing her normal day's work as Veronica was and she was taken down," he said.

"Brendan now has a huge, huge mountain to climb with two kids. I had one."

He was referring to his son, Cathal Turley, who was only six-years-old when Ms Guerin was shot dead as she sat in her car on the Naas Road.

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