Pope Francis is visiting Ireland this August, and that’s a heavy burden on Irish taxpayers. The trip is so costly, in fact, Irish police are supposedly telling officers to back off their operations hunting down gangs and violent criminals — since the work often happens outside of their regular scheduled duties –in order to save money for the pope’s visit.
In the last 48 hours, Garda units based in west Dublin have been told that local crime operations cannot be done while on overtime. Gardaí must now carry out these activities as part of their normal tours of duty.
These activities include surveillance operations targeting criminals, as well as community outreach programmes designed to reduce anti-social behaviour in certain areas.
All of this is happening even though the Vatican will bring along its own security team to make sure the pope is safe.
Some of the agency’s cutbacks were reported earlier, but the Garda spokespeople wouldn’t explain the motivation behind the cost-cutting, including if the pope’s visit was a reason for them. All they said was that they were given a budget, and they must work within it.
So where’s this rumor coming from? The Journal cites “well-placed sources” saying the papal visit is “one of the main reasons the overtime budget has been drastically curtailed.”
Based on the recent abortion referendum, we know there’s plenty of anti-Catholic sentiment among Irish voters. The Church was the main reason the nation banned legal abortion in 1983, and the recent vote suggested the Catholic Church is no longer seen as an arbiter of moral integrity.
If this story is accurate, just add it to the ever-growing list of grievances Irish citizens have against the Church.