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Garda protest outside EU finance ministers meeting in Dublin Castle

Members of the Garda Representative Association are protesting outside the two-day summit of finance chiefs.

GRA members protest outside Dublin Castle this morning, where European finance ministers are holding two days of meetings.
GRA members protest outside Dublin Castle this morning, where European finance ministers are holding two days of meetings.
Image: Garda Representative Association

Updated, 08:20

AROUND 30 MEMBERS of the Garda Representative Association are protesting outside Dublin Castle this morning as a summit of EU finance ministers gets under way.

Members of the Central Executive Committee of the GRA are demonstrating against cuts to their pay and conditions as proposed under the terms of the successor to the Croke Park Agreement on public sector pay and reform.

The agreement has proposed cutting €60 million from the garda pay bill over the next thee years but has been met with anger among rank-and-file gardaí and created considerable tension with government.

The summit at Dublin Castle will see European finance ministers and Central Bank governors from across Europe hold informal discussions with the lengthening of Ireland’s bailout loans among matters to be discussed.

“We have been badly treated by our political masters, and having been repeatedly denied the opportunity to directly negotiate our pay, we must express our anger and frustration through our continued placard protest,” GRA general secretary PJ Stone said in a statement.

The GRA members protesting this morning will be holding placards with the slogan ‘IRELAND Support your Police’ as well as placards with a German translation of the same phrase.

Justice Minister Alan Shatter said recently that the approach taken by both the GRA and the Association of Garda Sergeants and Inspectors has done a “disservice to members of the Force”.

Read: Gardaí feel like ‘sitting ducks’ after decision to withdraw Uzi submachine guns

Read: ‘I have given as much as I can’ – garda speaks out against pay cuts

Read: GRA protest at pay talks ‘a bad day’ for Garda reputation: Shatter

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Hugh O'Connell

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