Rank-and-file gardaí overwhelmingly vote no confidence in Commissioner Drew Harris

Rank-And-File Gardaí Overwhelmingly Vote No Confidence In Commissioner Drew Harris
Some 9,013 GRA members voted no confidence in Garda Commissioner Drew Harris. Photo: PA
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Members of the Garda Representative Association, which represents rank and file officers, have overwhelmingly voted no confidence in the force’s most senior officer, Commissioner Drew Harris, by 98.7 per cent.

The GRA issued 10,803 ballots, of which 9,129 were returned as valid votes.


Of those, 9,013 voted no confidence in Mr Harris, with 116 voting confidence in him.

Announcing the outcome of the vote in Dublin, GRA general secretary Ronan Slevin said it was the largest return for a ballot in the history of the association.

“It is a loud and clear message that we as an association have lost confidence in the direction of where policing has been led in this country,” he said.

“And, as such, it is now in the hands of Government to stand up and take action.”


The move by the GRA, which represents almost 11,000 rank-and-file gardaí out of the 14,000-strong force, is unprecedented.

While the vote of no confidence in Mr Harris has no legal standing, and does not force his resignation, sources in Government and Garda Headquarters are concerned it may lead to increased militancy within the ranks.

They are concerned, for example, that a sizeable majority of gardaí voting no confidence in the commissioner will be seen as a mandate for various forms of industrial action.

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Mr Harris has described the GRA’s move to ballot its members as “unnecessary” and questioned the “credibility” of the process.


Speaking before the vote result, GRA president Brendan O’Connor said more than half the membership would need to cast a vote in order for the result to have “authority”. He said a large turnout was required for the result to become a “mandate” for the GRA leadership and to “inform discussions going forward”.

The vote comes amid a protracted dispute with senior garda management over new rosters. The GRA wants to maintain current rosters put in place during the Covid-19 pandemic, which involve 12-hour shifts in a pattern of four days on/four days off which have proven popular with gardaí.

Mr Harris announced in mid-July that these rosters would be discontinued from November 6th. He dropped plans to introduce new rosters, saying the force would revert to pre-pandemic arrangements.

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