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Garda morale rocked by politicians taking advantage of controversies

In his opening address to delegates at the Garda Representative Association Conference, President John Parker also says there had been draconian prosecutions by GSOC in some cases.

President of the GRA John Parker.
President of the GRA John Parker.
Image: Sam Boal/Photocall Ireland

OUTGOING PRESIDENT OF the Garda Representative Association, John Parker, has said the garda force has been ‘rocked by allegations and inquiries’ recently and this has notably damaged the morale of the rank and file officer.

In his opening remarks to delegates at the association’s annual conference, which starts tomorrow morning, Parker says morale had not just been shaken by the fallout of recent controversies, but by “the creation of a political football by partisan politics taking opportunistic advantage”.

“Playing this out in a media circus has put a stressed workforce into potential freefall,” he continues. “Members of garda rank want to be allowed to get on with the job in hand without all the unhelpful speculation.

This is also true indiscipline investigations with draconian prosecutions by the GSOC in some recent cases.

At the two day conference, which kicks off tomorrow morning, delegates will debate a report from the Garda Síochána Ombudsman Commission which criticised garda handling of clashes with students during a protest in 2010 and accused them of providing misleading and inaccurate information about the incident.

In total, GRA delegates will debate two issues on GSOC and discuss three motions which cover costs of investigations, the introduction of a ‘charter of fairness’ the creation of a dedicated Garda Síochána Ombudsman Commission/Discipline Office within An Garda Síochána.

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. 

Here’s what they’ll be talking about at the GRA conference>

Related: Shatter not invited to GRA conference to avoid ‘giving him a platform for spin’>

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