Limerick TD defends Minister’s pedal powered protection

Transport Minister Eamon Ryan (right) on a borrowed bike in Limerick City last year.

LIMERICK Green Party TD Brian Leddin has defended party leader Eamon Ryan’s Garda pedal bike security escort.

Speaking in a radio interview with Live 95 fm, Deputy Leddin said that the Environment Minister is “a regular cyclist. He cycles everywhere for as long as I’ve known him.”

Following criticism of the move to provide the pedal escort, Deputy Leddin said the idea came from the Gardaí themselves and not from Minister Ryan.

“We are in a terrible situation where Gardaí say they want more security for Ministers and they have proposed they will cycle with Eamon on certain journeys,” Deputy Leddin said, noting that Minister Ryan is showing leadership by cycling.

“It will only be on certain journeys – they won’t be with him on every journey,” Deputy Leddin explained.

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The pedal-mounted personal protection officer will be on a bike because Mr Ryan does not use a ministerial car, unlike other members of Cabinet.

However, his protection detail will occasionally be in a Garda car, depending on operational requirements. The protection will be provided when he is cycling around Dublin on ministerial duties.

“There was a decision made by An Garda Síochána that Ministers in Cabinet will have protection officers,” Mr Ryan said.

“That’s their call in terms of security. I suppose they will have to be flexible in my case because I will still be cycling. But that’s something I have to work on with An Garda Síochána, to make sure it works for them as well as for me.”