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Otherwise engaged: Alan Shatter has decided not to attend this year's AGSI conference

The minister was at last year’s meeting of garda sergeants and inspectors but has said that he cannot attend this year because it clashes with the Passover festival.

JUSTICE MINISTER ALAN Shatter has declined an invitation to attend the annual conference of the Association of Garda Sergeants and Inspectors (AGSI) next week.

Shatter gave a speech to delegates at last year’s event but will not do so this year.

The AGSI was informed last week that the minister cannot attend because he will be marking the beginning of the Passover festival and must travel to Luxembourg the following day.

The three-day meeting for mid-ranking gardaí takes place in Killarney from Monday and is expected to focus on the upcoming review of An Garda Síochána.

A motion will also be tabled that calls for the confidential reporting charter to be reviewed and revised to allow for “more robust protection of genuine whistleblowers”.

Delegates will also debate the issuing of tasers to an expanded number of gardaí and training for newly promoted sergeants.

Garda Commissioner Nóirín O’Sullivan will address delegates on Tuesday, three weeks after taking the position on an interim basis following the resignation of Martin Callinan.

Similar to last year’s conference, the Haddington Road agreement will also feature heavily on the agenda.

A total of 31 branches of the AGSI from around the country will gather in the Malton Hotel Killarney.

Read: GardaGate inquiry will look at Du Plantier case and Callinan’s ‘retirement’ >

Read: Civil Liberties group writes to Taoiseach, wants GardaGate inquiry expanded to protect human rights >

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