Concern that strike 'will erode public trust' as gardaí and Dept of Justice talk behind closed doors

Behind-doors talks today between Garda representatives and the Department of Justice are the only thing with the potential to prevent massive disruption next week.

Unless agreement is found, unprecedented action by more than 12,000 members of the force is set to go ahead on Friday, and again on November 11,18 and 25.

If that happens, courts are likely to be affected; air and sea ports may face passport control issues; and retailers have expressed concern about a possible spike in crime rates.

General secretary of the National Taxi Drivers and Private Hire Association Christy Humphries said he had been getting worried calls from members all around the country.

"If there's an attack or an assault, (what happens?)...Divers have contacted us, very concerned, all over the country," he said.

Labour Senator Ivana Bacik warned the protest action may do serious damage to an already fragile force.

"An absolutely damning report by the Garda Inspectorate last year pointed out so many inefficiencies, so many problems within the Gardaí, in particular lack of supervision of trainees coming in.

"All of those things contribute to really serious loss of morale among the gardaí.

"If this goes ahead, I think there is a real concern it will erode public trust more, and it was already shaken."

KEYWORDS: Gardaí strike


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