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Dublin: 5°C Thursday 4 March 2021

'I have given as much as I can' - garda speaks out against pay cuts

The garda source said many colleagues have difficulties with the potential impact of industrial action but they feel they are backed into a corner.

Image: Sam Boal/Photocall Ireland

GARDAÍ ARE SET to implement their next raft of measures in protest against cuts after a meeting of the Garda Representative Association (GRA) tomorrow to decide on the next step.

It is expected that this will include a ban on overtime with officers in charge required issue written requests for them to fulfill their duties and come in on days off, which will cause a significant amount of administrative work.

As the work to rule action escalates, regional groups of gardaí are continuing to meet across the country and are consistently voting no confidence in Justice Minister Alan Shatter, Garda Commissioner Martin Callinan and in favour of a ‘blu flu’, which would see them call in sick en masse.

On Wednesday, a meeting of gardaí from the Dublin Metropolitan Region also voted in support of full scale industrial action. A garda source, who was at the meeting, told TheJournal.ie that members are “livid and extremely worried”.

“I underestimated the level of anger that exists amongst many of my colleagues,” they said. “They feel their livelihood is under threat and some are struggling to survive.”

I personally feel I have given as much as I can and like many others am crippled with debt linked to mortgages. I am now literally working to pay bills and if these cuts come in my ability to meet my financial commitments will be finished. I don’t need, nor do I expect a gargantuan wage, as I ask for is fair pay.

The garda said despite the votes in favour of industrial action, members have difficulties with the potential impact on the public.

They said gardaí believe that they have a duty to the people and said “we owe it to the people to be there to provide a service”.

The unfortunate thing is that when most people make contact with the gardaí it’s usually due to an unpleasant event or comes at a particularly low point in that person’s life. To withdraw or impede that service is abhorrent to the majority of members.

The source said they believe that this “sense of duty” felt by members of An Garda Síochána is being exploited by the government.

“We feel we have been exploited and pushed to the edge and due to legislative and disciplinary measures we have been backed into a corner and this is now our only recourse,” they added.

Read: Varadkar: No special pay deals for unions who walked out of talks>
More: Gardaí to roll out ‘second menu of options’ after GRA meeting next week>

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