Garda body demands ‘special taskforce’ be set up to protect members from violent attacks
• Yesterday 21:42
GARDAÍ HAVE DEMANDED that a special taskforce be set up to protect members who are “routinely” getting injured while on duty.
Garda body demands ‘special taskforce’ be set up to protect members from violent attacks© Sam Boal via RollingNews.ie
This evening, a spokesperson for the Garda Representative Association said they had contacted the Taoiseach as well as Justice Minister Simon Harris regarding ongoing serious concerns they had for the welfare of gardaí.
The GRA demanded an urgent meeting to discuss and progress the creation and formation of a Special Taskforce to “discuss the many serious issues and concerns affecting our members of An Garda Síochána at this time,” a statement from the organisation read.
“These communications followed a specially convened meeting of the GRA’s Executive Committee to discuss this matter” explained GRA Interim General Secretary Philip McAnenly.
He said gardaí are today faced with unprecedented challenges with rising assaults on members, failures within the recruitment process and the retention of gardai contributing to a situation of low morale among those we represent.
“We have outlined all these issues in our correspondence and have requested these meetings as a matter of extreme urgency.”
One member of the GRA who spoke to us on condition of anonymity said: “A number of DMR reps (Dublin region) outlined that lack of resources are now at a critical point and service to the public is suffering because of this, members are burnt out.”
The Journal was told that there is just too much of a deficit in personnel for gardaí to do their jobs effectively.
There have been some high-profile physical attacks on gardaí in recent weeks including an alleged assault in which a member of the force lost the majority of one his fingers.
Yesterday, Garda Commissioner Drew Harris outlined the need for additional and enhanced safety equipment during a meeting with the four garda representative associations last night.
Harris also outlined his support for the introduction of body cameras during the meeting which was requested to address issues of assaults on gardaí and recruitment.
Speaking after the meeting, Commissioner Harris said that “the safety of Gardaí is of utmost importance”.
However, he acknowledged that “already this year we have seen a number of serious assaults on gardaí”.
He added: “It is not acceptable that a small minority in society – and it is only a small minority – feel that gardaí can be attacked just because they are carrying out their duties.
The Garda Commissioner added that he is “confident that we will soon get back to a situation where Garda numbers are growing”.