Gardaí are to be issued with 'spit hoods' during the coronavirus crisis, the force has confirmed.
It comes amid concerns about some officers and members of the public being deliberately coughed or spat at.
The fabric and mesh 'spit hoods' are designed to be placed over a suspect's head to prevent them from spitting at others.
However, they are a controversial tool, with some rights' organisations having described them as 'dangerous and degrading'.
In a statement, An Garda Síochana said they take the health and safety of the public and officers seriously - noting that the hoods will be deployed as a temporary measure during the current outbreak.
They said: "Garda management continuously considers various forms of additional PPE which could be deployed to operational Gardaí.
"'Spit Hoods' which are currently on issue to the Irish Prison Service, and other international Police services, are currently being procured."
They add that rules and training for using the hoods will be provided to officers "prior to issuing any items".