Three gardaí currently suspended for between five and eight years

ireland
Three Gardaí Currently Suspended For Between Five And Eight Years Three Gardaí Currently Suspended For Between Five And Eight Years
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Digital Desk Staff

Four members of the Garda Reserve are among 91 personnel who on suspension from the force, while three gardaí have been on suspension for between five and eight years.

Minister for Justice Helen McEntee revealed the information in reply to parliamentary questions lodged by Junior Minister for Skills and Further Education Niall Collins and co-leader of the Social Democrats Catherine Murphy.

As the Irish Examiner reports, the Garda Representative Association (GRA) is now calling for a complete review of the current suspension policy within An Garda Síochána.

Ms McEntee said she has been informed by Garda authorities there is no maximum duration that a member of An Garda Síochána can be suspended for, as each case is different and has to be decided on its merits.

“Each suspension is reviewed on a regular basis for any changes in circumstances," she said.

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Some members are before the courts and are awaiting dates for trials, and therefore discipline investigations have to be put into abeyance, pending conclusion of the criminal proceedings.

Suspension policy

"In other cases, discipline investigations are ongoing, or the case may be subject to a hearing before a board of inquiry or appeal board, which all impact on suspensions.”

GRA president Frank Thornton said, however, the association is currently drafting a submission seeking a complete review of the current suspension policy within An Garda Síochána.

“There are incidents of members being under suspension for many years without proper explanation or consultation, which goes against their basic right to due process and natural justice," he said.

"We are seeking an open and transparent procedures policy, as a decision to suspend a member of An Garda Síochána must be transparent, consistent, delivered clearly, and with explanation and detailed rationale.”

He added: “As employees, our members deserve to be treated with fairness, dignity, and respect.”

He conceded that the suspension of a member of the garda force “is, at times, necessary”.

But he said: “All options should be taken into account in the best interests of the public, the service, and the member concerned."

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