Garda Commissioner: An Garda Síochána have taken very significant reductions

Update 2.40pm: The Garda Commissioner has refused to comment on possible garda strikes at their annual conference in Co. Mayo.

The AGSI agreed a motion to mount a campaign of industrial action over pay, starting with a uniformed protest.

If no progress is made to meet garda pay claims before June, the association says it will consider striking – on penalty of jail.

While Commissioner Noirin O'Sullivan did not comment on the strike, she says she has been listening to garda concerns.

She said: "Over the last five years there's no doubt that An Garda Síochána, like other public and private sector bodies, have taken very significant reductions which has diminished the capability and capacity of the organisation.

"It is a matter of public record that I have said that. Also, we have to look at what we are doing about that which is the really important thing, and what we have been doing over the last two years.

"Over the last two years, what we have done is we have listened very carefully to our own members in all ranks."

Garda Commissioner: An Garda Síochána have taken very significant reductions

Update 12 noon: The head of the Association of Garda Sergeants and Inspectors (AGSI) has said he is willing to be jailed for striking if progress is not made on their pay.

John Jacob said he would call an extraordinary meeting of the AGSI in June to discuss a strike if the Government does not address their concerns on pay.

A campaign of industrial action begins now, escalating to a uniformed protest on the Dáil and pickets on Government TDs' offices.

John Jacob said that while even discussing a strike means he is breaking the law, it is his duty as AGSI general secretary to do so.

"I have a family holiday booked for the end of June, and right now, unless there's progress on pay discussion (with the AGSI), I don’t know if I'll be going on that holiday with my family or going to prison for causing disaffection," he said.

"But, colleagues, I'm prepared to do that."

Update 10.15am: The annual conference of mid-level gardaí has heard about threats received by frontline gardaí on duty.

A survey published yesterday show gardaí are 10 times more likely to be injured than the average worker.

The AGSI will this morning debate motions on issues including pay, overtime and bullet-proof vests.

General secretary John Jacob outlined some of the dangers facing gardaí daily, saying: "I'm satisfied nobody in the Taoiseach's office was ever told by a person you were doing business with on behalf of the State that your wife or child would be raped…This is the intimidation that is taking place on a daily basis (towards members of the Gardaí)."

Earlier:

Nine out of 10 mid-ranking gardaí want the Association of Garda Sergeants and Inspectors (AGSI) to engage in a work-to-rule in support of their pay restoration claims.

Pay is the number one issue for 84% of garda sergeants and inspectors.

The AGSI is planning a massive march on the Dáil when the new Government first sits, and say it could be done with members in uniform, which would be unprecedented.

Almost 1000 mid-ranking gardaí took part in this survey by the Association of Garda Sergeants and Inspectors.

An overwhelming majority - 93% - said they supported a work-to-rule to reverse the 25% pay cuts they have taken.

A national protest will march on the Dáil when the new Government first sits, While the details of the action yet to be worked out.

Secretary General of AGSI John Jacob said: "It would be unprecedented for the gardaí to do it in full uniform - it would never have happened previously - but it would make a very strong statement.,"

Motions on pay will be debated today at the AGSI conference in Westport, Co Mayo.

Garda Commissioner: An Garda Síochána have taken very significant reductions

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