Garda body repeats call for more resources after members attacked
One serving garda and two retired officers spoke of the work pressures, dealing with assaults and the toll it took on their health and wellbeing
A Garda body has repeated its call for more resources after serving and retired members of the force hit out at the level of attacks on officers.
One serving garda and two retired officers spoke of the work pressures, dealing with assaults and the toll it took on their health and wellbeing. It comes just days after a garda was hit in the face with a bottle as a mob surrounded officers coming to the aid of an elderly woman in Ballyfermot, Dublin.
Disturbing video footage of the incident was widely shared and it was roundly condemned by politicians and senior gardai. Yesterday the Garda Representative Association warned that resources were stretched to the limit and approaching breaking point.
GRA president Brendan O’Connor said: “The experiences of the serving and former gardai are harrowing to read but sadly will not come as a shock to serving gardai. What is shocking is the impact work related stress can have on the mental health of individual members.
“The lack of support or interaction experienced by a member who reached out for support while struggling is indicative of the lack of support many members describe. What is becoming abundantly clear is that members are struggling with workloads that are unsustainable and the organisation is failing to acknowledge or address the problem.”
He added: “This is having a devastating impact on the wellbeing of individual members and feeding into poor morale across the organisation. An Garda Siochsna is creating a workplace where people feel undervalued and ignored which is demoralising for the individual and is disincentivising people with huge potential to make a meaningful contribution to policing communities.”
Last September two gardai were injured after their car was rammed by joyriders, also in Ballyfermot. On Thursday, Garda Commissioner Drew Harris said gardai were being taken from crime fighting duties to police an “exponential increase” in the number of protests in Dublin.