Gardaí say they will respond quickly and robustly to any report of domestic violence despite the current restructuring due to the Covid-19 emergency.

The force has launched Operation Faoisimh to assist victims of domestic abuse, saying officers will proactively contact every victim who has previously been in touch with gardaí.

An Garda Síochána said that victims of domestic violence and coercive control will continue to receive "the highest priority for service".

The head of the Protective Services Bureau said that even though there are more gardaí on the streets fulfillng other duties, the Covid-19 outbreak has not diminished its service.

Chief Superintendent Declan Daly said the force has a pro-arrest intervention policy in these cases and urged people experiencing such abuse to contact gardaí immediately.

"We put a lot of priority into domestic violence. It is a high impact, high volume crime.

"It is important to us that people understand that during this Covid-19 crisis that our service is not diluted ... we have the staff there to respond quickly and to respond robustly".

Reported incidents of domestic violence have increased by 16% in the past year, but gardaí say they have not yet seen a significant increase because of the Covid-19 restrictions, where people are required stay at homes, with limited exceptions.

Gardaí say they recognise the increase in anxiety and fear felt by victims of domestic violence and coercive control because of the Covid-19 restrictions.

Officers from the Garda Victim Service Offices will contact previous victims to ensure they and their families are safe and reassured.

Chief Supt Daly said he would expect an increase for interim barring orders and reiterated that there was no loss of garda or court service resources.

GRA discusses coronavirus-related concerns with dept

The Garda Representative Association has said the increased Garda interaction with the public means there is an increased risk of gardaí "becoming a vector for the virus."

The association met officials from the Department of Justice this afternoon to impress upon them the need to ensure the forthcoming regulations flowing from new emergency laws are robust and fit-for-purpose in respect of policing.

The legislation was signed into law last Friday week but the regulations necessary for gardaí to enforce it have still not been introduced by the Minister for Health.

The GRA has also called for a greater availability of personal protective equipment for gardaí to protect its members and the public.

President of the Association, Jim Mulligan, said that "both sides agreed to keep in contact over the coming weeks."