GRA talks adjourned as Friday's strike looms

GRA talks adjourned as Friday's strike looms

Update 4.45pm: Talks between the Garda Representative Association and the Department of Justice have been adjourned until 8pm this evening.

Update - 11.30am: It has emerged that the AGSI and GRA will attend separate hearings at the Labour Court today and tomorrow.

The clock is ticking down to unprecedented Garda strike action, scheduled for Friday.

The GRA has been invited to attend a hearing this afternoon, while their middle-ranking AGSI colleagues are due in tomorrow morning.

Update - 9.10am: President of the AGSI Antoinette Cunningham said this morning she was not sure how any disciplinary action would be imposed on striking Gardaí.

However, that is not something she is thinking about for now.

Ms Cunningham said: "And I suppose at this point in time, it's not something I would even put my energies into speculating about.

"If it's something that occurs as a consequence of something that may happen on Friday, then we'll deal with it at that point.

"But I think at this point our energy is focussed on trying to find a resolution and wereamin commiteed to that process right up to Friday morning."

Earlier: The GRA and AGSI are expected to attend the Labour Court later today, in a last ditch bid to prevent Gardai walking off the job on Friday.

The Garda Commissioner Noirín O'Sullivan has written to every member of the force directing them to turn up for work that day, and cancelling all leave.

Both the GRA and the AGSI have rejected pay proposals put forward by the Department of Justice aimed at resolving the row.

Minister Frances Fitzgerald says the Department has been working on contingency plans for months, but the focus is on resolving the dispute and avoiding a strike: "Clearly I have to be careful and the Garda Commissioner has to be careful because there are people, who once they are told about those services would seek to exploit precisely what those contingency plans are but of course I’m also conscious that the community will need reassurance.

"But let me be clear, there’s no service that substitutes for 12,800 members of An Garda Síochána and that’s why the focus is on avoiding that situation."

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