DELEGATES WILL BE arriving at the Malton Hotel in Killarney, Co Kerry this evening for the annual Garda Representative Association conference which starts tomorrow morning.
The conference for the Association of Garda Sergeants and Inspectors (AGSI) two weeks ago touched on issues like protection for whistleblowers and further provisions of tazers for gardaí. Just like the AGSI conference, Minister for Justice Alan Shatter will not be attending the GRA’s in Kerry – but this time it’s because he wasn’t invited.
He’ll be missing out on discussions of old favourites like pay and conditions under the Haddington Road Agreement, resourcing and recruitment, and garda morale after the GSOC controversy.
Apart from the obvious ones, here are some of the other key topics on the agenda for the two day conference that we’ll be keeping an eye on.
Guns: There will be a motion calling for members to receive tactical training in how to deal with various firearms incidents and familiarisation training in a range of weaponry that they might encounter.
Driving: A review of the driving course allocation policy will be discussed and there will be a debate on the use of personal driving licences on duty.
Uniforms: The need for rigid-style handcuffs and an operational summer shirt (so they don’t have to wear a tie on hot days) will also be discussed.
Protest: Remember the clashes between gardaí and students at that protest in 2010? The GRA will be debating GSOC’s report which criticised An Garda Síochána’s handling of it and accused them of providing misleading and inaccurate information.
Safety: There will be a motion to highlight assaults on gardaí and demand that the Department of Justice publish statistics every year on numbers of assaults as well as action taken.
Drunks: Delegates will also debate the legal implications of detaining intoxicated prisoners in garda stations.
Recording: A motion is on the agenda to seek a change in legislation to remove the need for interviews to be written down when they’ve been electronically recorded.
We’ll be bringing you the latest news from the conference in Killarney over the next couple of days so keep your eyes peeled. You can also follow @michellehtweet for updates throughout the day.