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Dublin: 24°C Friday 12 August 2022


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WITH YESTERDAY’S ANNOUNCEMENT that garda inspectors and sergeants are to go on strike along with lower ranking gardaí, there’s pressure on the Taoiseach to reassure the public.

Enda Kenny is to face questions from his fellow party leaders this afternoon and the worsening industrial relations situation looks set to dominate.

Follow the action here.

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As expected, Micheál Martin is tackling issues of law and order, it’s not about the garda strike though.

He’s holding the government to task for what he says is the inability of the government to appoint judges. He blames this on the Independent Alliance.

“Any government that is incapable of appointing judges is a dysfunctional government,” Martin says.

The Taoiseach’s not having it though, he says the number of appointments that are needed is ‘very small’.

Enda Kenny says that he doesn’t hang about with too many judges ‘for very good reason’, and that he doesn’t have the exact figure on how many are needed. He repeats though that it’s not many.

Martin though isn’t finished though, he wants the Taoiseach to answer whether the Independent Alliance has put a ‘freeze’ on the appointment of judges.

“The answer to to that is no,” An Taoiseach says.

Sinn Féin leader gets his chance now, only after Ceann Comhairle Seán Ó Fearghaíl quietens down his party leader Micheál Martin.

Adams is bringing up Brexit and particularly the fate of people in border counties.


He says the ‘starting point’ for the government should be to ensure that the ‘island of Ireland’ stays in the EU.

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“I have been concerned that you have not been strategic enough on this issue, ” Adams says.

Enda Kenny says that the upcoming council meeting in Brussels will see UK Prime Minister Theresa May outline how Brexit preparations are going.

The Taoiseach says that before the North South Ministerial Council meets on 18 November he needs to know “what the executive is looking for”.

“This is not just about any one party, this is about our island and our people,” Kenny says.

Adams rejects this, saying that Northern Ireland’s First Minister Arlene Foster is looking for Brexit, something that Adams notes is against the wishes of the majority of people in Northern Ireland.

Gerry Adams takes his feet as Enda Kenny is speaking, the Ceann Comhairle claims he is ‘being disorderly’.

Sean Ó Fearghail is getting a bit annoyed with everyone now, say they’ll be ‘here ’till midnight.

Labour leader Brendan Howlin is speaking now. He’s listing off the garda and teachers strikes.

He thinks the Lansdowne Road Agreement needs to be ‘accelerated’.

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Enda Kenny says the proposed garda strike is a ‘very serious situation’.

He says there’s ‘still an opportunity to deal with this matter’. Kenny cites an upcoming meeting between Justice Meeting between the Minister for Justice and the Garda Representative Association.


He says the Association of Garda Sergeants and Inspectors has also been invited to attend.

Brendan Howlin thinks the new pay commission is going to do nothing to quell industrial unrest.

He thinks the days of two-way pay discussions are over and we need to show public sector workers that there is a “clear pathway to full income recovery.”

Taoiseach recognises that there needs to be a successor to the Lansdowne Road Agreement.

“Nobody wants to see a situation where we don’t have gardaí on the streets,” Kenny says.

Richard Boyd Barrett of the AAA-PBP is also addressing the looming industrial actions.

Boyd Barrett TD says that what needs to be shown is equal pay.

“Young teachers and also older teachers stood together demanding equal pay for equal work, a very simple principle,” he says.

He makes the comparison of equality of pay between men and women and says that workers should be paid the same for doing the same work.

He asks the Taoiseach to end ‘the pay apartheid that is angering the teachers and nurses and guards’.

The Taoiseach notes that teaching unions the TUI and INTO have agreed to Lansdowne Road while the ASTI did not.

Boyd Barrett notes that the ASTI (and the GRA) put to the agreement to a ballot.

Richard Boyd Barrett TD has now mentioned the term ‘pay apartheid’ three times.

Enda Kenny says that the State ‘does not have an unlimited pool of money for everybody.’

That’s the end of that. A bit of a surprise that it took until the third opposition spokesperson to speak about strikes.

We got there in the end though.

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About the author:

Rónán Duffy