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gra conference

51 bomb disposal callouts this year and 'we receive no training, no guidelines - nothing'

Delegates at the GRA Conference have passed a motion calling for all gardaí to be given training in dealing with firearms and the various incidents in which they have to deal with them.

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DELEGATES AT THE Garda Representative Association (GRA) have passed a motion calling for firearm incident and familiarisation training to be given to all members of the force.

Members of the GRA speaking in favour of the motion said uniform gardaí currently have no training in how to deal with the various firearms incidents they face.

Alan Cummins from the DMR South Central district also pointed out that officers attending the scenes of improvised explosive devices are not equipped to deal with theses situations.

“There’s an increase in dangers posed to members, not only in relation to firearms but also in attending incidents using IEDs,” he told delegates.

In 2013, there was a total 250 callouts nationwide for bomb disposal. Eighty of these involved viable devices which had the capacity to kill or cause serious injury.

So far this year, gardaí and the Defence Forces dealt with 51 callouts nationwide, 23 viable explosive devices.

“We receive no training no guidelines, nothing from government,” Cummins said.

Most important motion 

Ulton Sherlock, also from the DMR South Central division, said of all the motions before the conference today, “this could be the most important”.

Sherlock said he believes training in firearms “will save lives”.

He gave an example of a recent incident whereby four armed men were in a house holding a bank manager hostage. Two officers arrived in a patrol car and “rushed to the door” rather than sealing off the street and calling for backup putting themselves in serious danger.

“Everyone should be trained – there should be no argument about lack of finance,” he told delegates.

Despite their calls, delegates were quick to stress that they were not asking for all gardaí to be armed with guns, nor were they suggesting that the specialist training given to the armed response unit should be rolled out across the force.

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. 

Related: Acting Garda Commissioner to receive warm welcome from rank and file gardaí>

More: Crimes ‘slipping through the net’ due to lack of garda resources>

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