The expenses incurred by the Garda for safeguarding the Russian embassy surpass €210,000 in overtime payments, in addition to the costs associated with regular rostered duties.

Since the onset of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, the Garda operation conducted near the Russian embassy in south Dublin has resulted in overtime costs exceeding €200,000. Nonetheless, the total expenses associated with safeguarding the embassy and its personnel are significantly greater, as the majority of Gardaí stationed there are fulfilling their regular rostered duties rather than working overtime.

Throughout the majority of the previous 14 months, the primary objective of the Garda operation has been to ensure a noticeable presence and manage the opening and closing of a security barrier for the entry and exit of the embassy’s staff in their vehicles. Since the barrier is located just outside the embassy compound, the responsibility for its operation lies with the Garda rather than the Russians, who maintain their own security measures within the compound.

According to reliable sources, during a period last year when the Garda operation reached its highest level due to a surge in anti-Russian sentiment in the Republic following the invasion, the monthly cost of maintaining the Garda presence outside the embassy on Orwell Road, Rathgar, ranged from €50,000 to €100,000.

According to the sources, the reason for the high expenditure was the significant deployment of gardaí during that period. Additionally, a command-and-control center, which was staffed by additional Gardaí, was temporarily established at the site in case a substantial policing response was necessary to control potential public disorder.

Nevertheless, in the time that followed, the number of people assembling outside the embassy has diminished, although a small faction of anti-Russia demonstrators continues to convene on a daily basis. They vocalize anti-war and anti-Russian statements while displaying signs, as the Russian personnel enter and exit the premises in their vehicles. Occasionally, larger gatherings occur, necessitating an augmented Garda presence for several hours on such occasions.

Although the permanent Garda deployment has been reduced since March and April of last year, which includes the dismantling of the command-and-control unit, there is still a continuous 24-hour Garda presence in effect. Maintaining a single member of the force at any static Garda post necessitates deploying five or six gardaí on a full-time basis. Multiple shifts of gardaí are required within each 24-hour period, taking into account rest periods and annual leave as well.

Following Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, a lasting Garda presence was established in March of the previous year, triggered by an incident where a vehicle was intentionally driven in reverse into the embassy gates. Russian ambassador Yury Filatov expressed dissatisfaction at that time, asserting that the Garda were not adequately ensuring the safety of him and his staff.

Durable barriers were installed permanently outside the embassy, and initially, a Garda vehicle was stationed at the entrance of the embassy compound. It was relocated as needed whenever a Russian embassy vehicle required entry or exit. Subsequently, a movable steel barrier, specifically designed to withstand impact from a large vehicle, was erected. The responsibility for operating and managing this barrier for the Russians lies with the Gardaí present at the site, who are in charge of its opening and closing.

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