Garda Public Order Unit

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The Public Order Unit on O'Connell Street during the 2006 Dublin Riots.

The Garda Public Order Unit – commonly known as the Garda Riot Squad – is a unit of the Garda Síochána, Ireland's police force, that deals with public disorder, including riots and protests.


Uniformed members with Public Order training are assigned to a duty rota. Each weekend two full serials patrol the Dublin city center and provide support to patrol officers (one operating from Pearse Street Garda station and one from Store Street Garda Station) from 7pm to 5am. At all other times the unit is only called up for riot situations or pre-planned for football matches or other such events.


concern has been raised over the length of shifts for Public Order Unit members. For example a member of the Garda Traffic Corps who is Public Order trained was on duty for twenty-two consecutive hours as his weekend Public Order tour began as soon as his regular (traffic policing) shift ended. the officer in question was forced to sleep between callouts in the rear of the Public Order van.


The unit is trained to use riot control tactics to control, disperse, and arrest civilians that are involved in a riot, demonstration, or protest. This may involve the use of force and intimidation to subdue those involved.


As with ordinary uniformed members of the Garda Síochána, the Public Order Unit do not routinely carry firearms, relying instead on conventional, non-lethal weapons such as batons. Members of the unit typically wear body armour, riot helmets, and carry riot shields. If a situation escalates whereby an armed response is required, the Garda Regional Support Unit (RSU) or Garda Emergency Response Unit (ERU) will be called in to assist.

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