Minister for Transport Eamon Ryan has said that Dublin city is "not safe enough" following Thursday night's riots in the city centre.

He was speaking to reporters on his way into Cabinet this morning where ministers discussed the resources available to gardaí.

Minister Ryan said: "I love Dublin, I grew up, (was) born and raised in this city. It has great qualities, great characteristics, but as long as my neighbour doesn't feel secure, then I'm insecure too.

"We need to keep the decency and the culture and the values that are real Dublin values in my mind, not be intimidated by the sort of antics we saw last week, and we can make it safe and we need to make it safe."

A meeting of the Policing Authority and the Garda Commissioner Drew Harris is taking place this lunchtime to discuss the events of last Thursday.

Minister for Justice Helen McEntee has said she has asked the Policing Authority what further resources gardaí might need in order to deal with public order incidents.

Under a plan to be outlined to the Cabinet by the minister, the Policing Authority has been asked to review how frontline gardaí, dealing with serious public order events, can be further supported through the possible provision of non-lethal equipment, stronger vehicles, the dog unit, and clarity on the use of coercive force.

"I have asked for clarity on use of force because I don't want gardaí looking over their shoulder when they feel force is necessary," she said.

It is understood Minister McEntee believes the review should include the changed environment post Covid-19, and the growth of social media, to ensure that the most up-to-date policies and procedures are in place.

Policing Authority 'absolutely not' responsible

Speaking on RTÉ's News at One, Brendan O'Connor, President of the Garda Representative Association (GRA) said it is "absolutely not" the responsibility of the Policing Authority to offer clarity on the use of force by officers.

"The reason that members are reticent and hesitant to use force is because of their experience to the statutory functions exercised by our own garda management in the supervision of discipline investigations, GSOC in relation to criminal investigations and discipline and the arbiter of whether something is correct or not has been the DPP.

"And our members who have acted with force in the past and acted lawfully have still found themselves dragged before the courts and put through tortuous experience, some of them suspended for years on end.

"And many of them then acquitted by either judges, or by juries of their peers."

Mr O'Connor added that the Policing Authority has no statutory function or role in the process.

He said their experience with the Policing Authority in the past has been a "talking shop" and critical of GRA members.

He said that in the past "guards have been criminalised for doing their work".

He said ideas of accountability, responsibility and their decision-making model have been drilled into his members.

Minister Helen McEntee and Garda Commissioner Drew Harris (File:

Speaking as she arrived at the Cabinet meeting, Ms McEntee said ministers will be updated on operations related to the violence last Thursday.

She said the garda response was excellent, but she wanted to ensure that gardaí have every tool available to them in order to respond in the way that they see fit.

The minister said she wanted to ensure the public that there would be a strong visible garda presence, including public order and mounted units, to keep everyone safe over the Christmas period.

It is understood Ms McEntee will also update her Cabinet colleagues on technology being made available to gardaí and provide the latest data on garda recruitment.

The legislation to allow An Garda Síochána to use bodycams will pass all stages in the Oireachtas this week, but Ms McEntee is believed to have asked garda management to consider how to fast-track the purchase of the equipment.

It is understood she has instructed her officials to expand the scope of facial recognition technology legislation to include riot and violent disorder, and that she wants to present it to the Cabinet within weeks.

Minister McEntee is expected to update ministers on her target to have as many as 800 new garda recruits in training this year.

Ministers back Cabinet colleague

Minister for Finance Michael McGrath said that he "fully" supports Minister Helen McEntee and he believes "she has the full support of all of her cabinet colleagues".

"This is not about personalities. What happened last Thursday in Dublin was an affront to our democracy", Mr McGrath said, adding that "a very strong response" was needed.

"To lose control of our capital city for a number of hours is something that we thought we would never see in our lifetime. We did witness it. It did happen and so the response has to be very strong and forceful."

He said they had to make sure that "gardaí have the resource and the powers that they need to respond".

Michael McGrath speaking on his way into Cabinet

"The specific response is an operational matter for gardaí but we do want them to feel empowered to respond in the way that they deem appropriate and not to be unduly concerned in terms of consequences in terms of GSOC and so on," Mr McGrath added.

"The gardaí have a really difficult job to do and we have to back them 100% and there are occasions when the use of force in a proportionate manner is appropriate."

Minister Ryan also told reporters he would be voting in favour of Minister McEntee in any no-confidence motion.

However, Opposition politicians accuse the Cabinet of engaging in yet another temporary fix rather than devising a real solution.

The Labour Party will vote against the Government if there is a no-confidence motion tabled in Minister McEntee, Senator Rebecca Moynihan said. However, she added that a no-confidence motion would be a "distraction".

Social Democrats TD for Dublin Central Gary Gannon said his constituents were not screaming for facial recognition technology, but more gardaí on the streets and a coherent plan to make the capital safe.

His party colleague Catherine Murphy said she was concerned that garda resources were being drawn away from Meath and Kildare to resolve problems in Dublin, when the capital's hinterland was already inadequately policed.

Association of Garda Sergeants and Inspectors (AGSI) General Secretary Antoinette Cunningham said gardaí are yet to see a robust response from Ms McEntee and the Government to real issues that have been raised by garda associations.

Ms Cunningham said gardaí are a "little bit cynical" that the new review will lead to any real change, adding that it is hard to welcome such a review.

Speaking on RTÉ's Today with Claire Byrne programme, she said that it was seven years since the AGSI first passed a motion on body cams and five years since a major recruitment and retention problem was highlighted.

Ms Cunningham said gardai need better working conditions and more public order training.

Referendum wording to be considered next week

Meanwhile, the wording of the referendum to replace the constitutional reference to women's duties in the home is likely to be considered by Cabinet next week.

There had been expectation in political circles that the issue would be considered at today's Cabinet meeting.

It is understood the Government firmly believes that its new target of holding the referendum in March still stands.

A source said the delay will ensure that the referendum wording is the main item agenda at next week's meeting.

Originally, the Government had said the referendum would be held this month, but that was delayed.

Minister for Further and Higher Education Simon Harris is expected to outline details of a €70m plan to create two new scientific research centres involving scientists from Ireland, Northern Ireland and Britain.

Details will be announced at the British-Irish Intergovernmental Conference meeting in Dublin later today.

Tánaiste Micheál Martin will seek approval from his Cabinet colleagues for the Defence Forces to continue with two overseas missions - one based in in Bosnia Herzegovina and the other in Uganda.

Minister for Agriculture Charlie McConalogue will update the Cabinet on plans to ensure that 'Irish Grass Fed Beef' and 'Achill Island Sea Salt' are registered as an all-island Protected Geographical Indication under EU Quality Schemes.

Additional reporting Paul Cunningham, PA