Our website uses cookies to enhance your browsing experience and to collect information about how you use this site to improve our service to you. By not accepting cookies some elements of the site, such as video, will not work. Please visit our Cookie Policy page for more information on how we use cookies.

Safety Guidance for Candidates in Elections

Safety Guidance for Candidates in Elections

An Garda Síochána, Women for Election and See Her Elected launch a new guide for candidates running in the Local and European Elections with a focus on their safety in the election campaigns.

Superintendent Seán Fallon of the Garda National Community Engagement Bureau said, “An Garda Síochána has appointed Liaison Inspectors in each of our division’s nationwide to help keep all those participating in the forthcoming elections safe while campaigning. The new safety guide provides important guidance and advice to candidates of how best they can protect themselves and their election teams while out canvassing and engaging within the community. It further details how to safely navigate their use of online platforms and social media sites too.

“Our Garda Divisional Crime Prevention Officers are based around the country to help on any matter of personal safety and are available to take a report of any incident. Should any election candidate or person involved in the campaign find themselves in immediate danger or in an emergency, please always call 999/112.”

“Women for Election and She Her Elected would also encourage all candidates to report all unacceptable behaviour, whether to the online platforms or to the Gardaí.  The Guidelines have links to social media reporting channels and details of Garda reporting and support mechanisms” concluded Sheehan.

“The majority of interactions between candidates and members of the public at doorsteps and at public meetings and events are friendly. However, at times these interactions can be intimidating or threatening. Women candidates in particular experience a disproportionate level of unacceptable behaviour, including online harassment and abuse. This new guide aims to help candidates to stay safe and outlines what to do when candidates experience unacceptable behaviours” said Brian Sheehan, CEO of Women for Election.

“We expect political debate as part of elections and of local and national government. But increasingly, especially online, this crosses over into unacceptable behaviours, threats or attacks. Civility in political debate and dialogue is essential to our democracy, and essential to creating an environment where more women feel safe to run for election. We need measures in place to ensure that those elected by the public to serve their interests can do so in safety” said Dr Michelle Maher, Programme Manager, See Her Elected.