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Garda management withdraw gender identity directive pending more training

The move follows an intervention by the Association of Garda Sergeants and Inspectors.

GARDA MANAGEMENT HAS withdrawn an internal directive designed to help transgender gardaí following an appeal by middle-ranking officers. 

Yesterday Antoinette Cunningham, General Secretary of the Association of Garda Sergeants and Inspectors (AGSI), had criticised the internal order

Garda authorities had issued the document in relation to the rights of people who are transitioning but the AGSI had voiced concerns about a lack of consultation or training.

Drew Harris had said that gardaí who used the wrong gender when addressing a person may be disciplined.

The commissioner withdrew the directive this morning and is due to address the conference this afternoon.

Cunningham welcomed the withdrawal and said there is a need to educate officers ahead of its reissue.   

“It’s withdrawn now until consultation with the staff associations takes place. Within that we’ll be seeking a programme of education to how we can better support colleagues who wish to transition their gender and who want to go through the transition process,” she said.

Cunningham said that gardaí were concerned that their lack of training could cause upset for colleagues who are transitioning. 

“The worst thing we could do for people who wish to transition or have transitioned is misgender them, not give them the appropriate pronouns, not support them in the workplace, not provide the appropriate facilities – uniform, dress and anything else that they need in their transition.

“We as supervisors have a particular role in that, we want to support colleagues. So it’s more important to get this right rather than dropping a directive in without the appropriate information that is badly needed.”

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