Baton Rush Or No Baton Rush? How The Guards Can Decide Which Drinkers Are Fair Game


GARDAÍ are being urged to ‘use their discretion’ when it comes to outdoor drinking following news that many pub licences do not cover on-street service, but just how can our police know when it’s ok to leave people be, and when to break out the truncheons and start cracking skulls?

Here’s a few pointers for an Garda Síochána ahead of what is shaping up to be a busy summer:

1) Don’t rely on sports jerseys as an indicator to steam in

Put yourself in the shoes of a beat cop, turning a corner to find ten young men wearing football jerseys, drinking takeaway pints. A sure sign that you should use ‘appropriate force’ to ‘move them on’, right? Instead, guards are being advised to assess the type of shirts being worn before attacking.

From vintage, expensive international jerseys being worn ironically by hipsters to, heaven forbid, rugby jerseys, there are plenty of well-heeled young people with parents who would be quick to sue, so caution is being advised.

2) Keep central Dublin clear for respectable people

The gardaí have made it known that they’re no fans of the government’s ‘outdoor summer’ messaging, which has caused thousands of people to believe that they can actually go outside and enjoy themselves over the summer months, bringing together a mixture of the affluent and the ‘known to gardaí’ on our streets. Despite their misgivings gardaí have been ordered to make sure Dublin remains an attractive destination for ‘the right crowd’, and that the ‘undesirables’ remain in undesireable-land. If that requires the tip of a truncheon every so often, so be it.

3) How drunk is too drunk?

With no ‘substantial meal’ rule in place, people are now free to drink all day if they like, but how can gardaí know when it’s time to step in? This isn’t at nighttime after a club closes where the cover of darkness can hide heavy-handedness, this is the middle of the day! Subsequently, beat cops are being advised to ‘leave well enough alone’ providing that everyone looks like they still have money to spend. If someone is drunk, unruly and hasn’t got the price of a pint; that’s when to engage.