Helen McEntee urged to intervene as gardaí threaten to withdraw their labour

Helen Mcentee Urged To Intervene As Gardaí Threaten To Withdraw Their Labour
Gardaí are in a standoff with Commissioner Drew Harris over the reimplementation of a pre-Covid roster system. Photo: Collins
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By David Young, PA

A body representing rank-and-file gardaí has urged the Government to intervene to avert industrial action amid a deepening row over rosters.

Gardaí have threatened to withdraw their labour if the standoff with Garda Commissioner Drew Harris over the reimplementation of a pre-Covid roster system is not resolved.


Members of the Garda Representative Association (GRA) are planning to decline to work voluntary overtime on the five Tuesdays in October, dates that include Halloween and Budget day.

They have also vowed to continue to operate the current roster system of four days on and four days off when the old system is due to come back into effect on November 6th.

If there is no resolution, GRA members have said they will fully withdraw their labour on November 10th.

Mr Harris is trying to move from a roster based on gardaí working four days on and four days off to six days on, with shorter shift times, and four days off.


The move has been strongly resisted by the GRA.

A meeting with Mr Harris, the GRA and three other associations that represent different garda ranks is due to take place later on Thursday.

GRA president Brendan O’Connor urged the Government to intervene as he called for “common sense” to prevail.

He said many members felt withdrawing labour was the only option left to them.


“Unfortunately we have found ourselves in a situation where the disaffection and discontent among our members is so great, you see members who are very much committed to the organisation that are so despondent that they feel they have no other course of action, so it’s very unfortunate,” he told RTÉ radio.

Mr O’Connor added: “Common sense has to prevail.

“We would be asking for the Government to intervene or someone else in the department and the organisation.”

Minister for Justice Helen McEntee speaks to the media (Brian Lawless/PA)

Minister for Justice Helen McEntee said the decisions on industrial action taken by a special delegates conference of the GRA on Wednesday were “regrettable”.

Speaking in Brussels, the minister said: “I think the facts are very clear here.

“There’s nobody and that means the Garda Commissioner nor the Garda associations who believes that either the current roster or the previous and incumbent roster is the right roster moving forward.


“We all want to negotiate a new roster that is suitable for the needs of the public today and that, of course, works for members of An Garda Síochána.

“The only way that that can be found is through negotiation. Talks are still ongoing.

Gardaí threaten industrial action if row goes unre...
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“There will be a meeting today between the commissioner of An Garda Síochána with the four associations and it’s absolutely imperative that all four associations including the GRA are around the table for that discussion.”

The latest developments come after almost 99 per cent of gardaí who voted in a ballot organised by the GRA expressed no confidence in the Commissioner two weeks ago.

A meeting between the Commissioner and GRA representatives on Tuesday ended without resolution.

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