Naas Gardaí planning for any possible protests at vaccination centre in Punchestown

Senan Hogan

Reporter:

Senan Hogan

Over 300 people tested every day at Covid-19 hub at Punchestown

Punchestown Event Centre

Naas Gardaí are devising a policing plan for the new vaccination centre in Punchestown in case there are protests by anti vaccine activists.

The vaccination centre will see hundreds of people travelling to the venue every day to be inoculated when the facility is operational.

Supt Oliver Henry of Naas Garda District told the local Joint Policing Committee (JPC) quarterly meeting yesterday, Monday March 1 that gardaí were working on a policing plan around the centre.

Supt Henry, who was deputising for Chief Supt John Scanlan, told the online meeting : “There is always a concern about protests happening.”

The senior garda made the comments while discussing with other JPC members the overall policing response to local Covid-19 restrictions.

On January 15, Minister for Health, Stephen Donnelly confirmed locations for 37 vaccination centres across Ireland for the Covid-19 Vaccination Programme.

Some vaccination centres around the country are located in hotels, GAA clubs or golf clubs. 

Minister Donnelly said: “These centres will be ready well in advance of vaccine supply when they will be used as part of our programme.

"People can expect to see these vaccination centres ready and waiting in their county.

 “We have always said the vaccination programme would only be limited by the availability and reliability of supply in these early stages of the programme.

"In the coming months supply will increase substantially and we will see these centres operating to full capacity and administering vaccines to the general population, following the Government priority list.”

The Department of Health said:

"All of the centres vary in size and operating hours and have been selected based on population density, ease of access, transport and parking.

"The design and layout of the centres also incorporates learnings from the Covid-19 swabbing centres.

"It is important to note that the centres will be of different sizes and operating hours will be based on vaccine supply and catchment area need."