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Taylor Swift performs as part of the "Eras Tour" in Tokyo. Alamy Stock Photo
tortured garda department

Dublin gardaí shake it off as Taylor Swift gigs declared an 'extraordinary event'

Look what you made Drew do.

IT IS GOING to be a cruel summer for members of An Garda Siochána in Dublin: leave for gardaí has been cancelled for the final days of June due to the Taylor Swift concerts. 

Taylor Swift arrives into Dublin to play the Aviva Stadium on 28, 29, and 30 June. It would usually be a case of no body no crime* but in this instance Taylor and her following of Swifties have led garda management to declare the three days as an ‘extraordinary event’. 

When this happens, gardaí can be stopped from taking leave and special measures are implemented to ensure that there are enough gardaí to police the city. 

Many of those fans are going to stay out too late, go on too many dates, that’s what people say, so An Garda Síochána management has directed the move on one of the nights, 29 June, to implement the measure.

Commissioner Drew Harris is making sure there will be no teardrops left on Taylor Swift’s guitar.  

The move is not without its bad blood and anti-heroes, however. The Association of Garda Sergeants and Inspectors (AGSI) has raised an issue about the need for the declaration.  

They said, in a missive to members today, that they are normally contacted when the extraordinary event status is enacted in the Dublin Metropolitan Region.

In a statement to The Journal AGSI also said that they had identified deficiencies in the antiquated rates for Subsistence and Travel Allowance

The group said it is becoming increasingly difficult to police major national and international events due to ongoing resourcing issues.

AGSI also noted that the latest declaration of an extraordinary policing event is in contravention of some of the principles of the Working Time Directive which An Garda Siochana and all representative associations have signed up to.

AGSI Acting General Secretary, Ronan Clogher said: “AGSI has sought to reconvene a meeting of the Midlands Working Time Agreement forum to address the consistent and recurring problems that our membership has experienced in recent times surrounding the processes to be utilised as the result of the declaration of an extraordinary event and other issues.

“In a departure from normal practice, the National Executive received no prior notification or consultation from Garda Management regarding the declaration of the 29th of June 2024 as an extraordinary event in the Dublin Metropolitan Region.

“Subsequently we were contacted by our membership of Sergeant and Inspector rank regarding the lack of sufficient notice and clarity surrounding this extraordinary event.”

AGSI say ongoing challenges of resourcing constraints means it is becoming necessary for Garda Management to have to declare additional extraordinary events to provide a policing service.

This problem, say AGSI, is further exacerbated by long standing issues around subsistence and travel allowances which are currently before the Workplace Relations Commission.

The current rates of Subsistence and Travel are at 2002 levels having last been adjusted in 2009 with a 25% reduction due to the financial emergency.

These rates have remained static since 2009 and are completely unrealistic considering the current cost of living.

A garda spokesperson said: “An extraordinary event is in place because of the high volume of events happening in Dublin city and environs across a number of days.” 

As well as Taylor Swift, the spokesperson noted a number of other concerts, festivals and sports events taking place across the weekend, including Pride, All-Ireland SFC quarter-finals, Longitude, Flavours of Fingal, and concerts by The Saw Doctors and Villagers. 

*The Journal’s news team provided additional reporting to come up with all the references and puns in this article. You’re welcome/we’re sorry.  

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