Launching the party's crime and security election plan, Fianna Fáil's Niall Collins said Friday's Regency Hotel gun attack had caused international reputational damage to Ireland.

The launch took place at the closed-down Whitehall Garda Station - just yards away from the scene of the gun attack.

Mr Collins said they were launching their crime-fighting pledges there to "stand in solidarity with the community" following the "barbaric" attack.

He said the response time by gardaí responding had been "inadequate" as the force did not have enough resources.

Mr Collins also attacked the government record on resourcing the gardaí and also launched a scathing attack on Sinn Féin's call to abolish the Special Criminal Court saying people were "disgusted" by this.

He said, in government Fianna Fáil would increase garda numbers to 15,000 and would examine extending the garda retirement age.

Asked why his party cancelled garda recruitment and closed the Garda College when last in government, Mr Collins said the economy had crashed and "right across the public service there was a funding issue".

He went on to say his party would extend the Special Criminal Court to organised crime gangs, with a special garda unit to deal with it. A sentencing council would establish consistent sentencing.

Fianna Fáil also pledged that the Garda Inspectorate would be asked to examine the issue of reopening some garda stations.