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Public pay chairman retracts "garda mutiny" comments amid growing pressure

A garda representative group has said they will be discussing Duffy’s impartiality at a December meeting.

Image: Sam Boal

THE CHAIRMAN OF the Public Service Pay Commission (PSPC) Kevin Duffy has withdrawn comments he made that the potential garda strikes amounted to mutiny.

Although he retracted his comments, he maintains the action would have been illegal, but accepted that they have legal advice that claims the contrary.

He also said that as long as the government and unions have confidence in him, he will continue in his role as chairperson, which includes overseeing garda pay negotiations.

This comes after both the AGSI and GRA, which represent middle management and rank-and-file gardaí respectively, both hit out at the comments – with AGSI president Antoinette Cunningham calling on Duffy to retract the remarks, describing them as “extremely damaging and divisive”.

Cunningham also said that they would not be making any submissions to the PSPC until the issue was resolved.

This evening, the GRA responded to Duffy’s retraction with the following statement:

“The Garda Representative Association acknowledges the statement this evening from Kevin Duffy, the Chairman of the Public Services Pay Commission.”

However, we reserve our position as to whether or not we have full confidence in Mr Duffy’s ability to carry out his role in an objective and impartial manner and we will be discussing the situation at the next meeting of the GRA’s Central Executive Committee which will take place in December.

File Photo Former Labour Court chairman Kevin Duffy has described the recent threatened garda strike as tantamount to a mutiny. He was speaking at an industrial relations conference in Dublin where the current laws on strikes and picketing were discussed. AGSI president Antoinette Cunningham. Source: RollingNews.ie

Duffy, who is also a former Labour Court chairman, had questioned the legality of the proposed garda action during the questions and answers section of an industrial relations conference yesterday morning.

But as recently as yesterday, Duffy was defending his comments, telling RTÉ’s Drivetime that he was “commenting only on the methods by which [gardaí] went about pursuing their claims”.

He added that the Labour Court had made its recommendations and that, as a former chairman of the court himself, he believed those recommendations were “absolutely justified”.

Duffy also said that his comments would have “no implication”at all for the role that the PSPC will perform.

The PSPC chairman was only appointed last month to the role.

Read: ‘I am astonished’: Condemnation by gardaí of “mutiny” comments made by public pay chairman

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