Latest: Justice Minister says there is no Garda overtime ban

Update 9.14pm: The Justice Minister has said there is no Garda overtime ban in Dublin.

Initially, the city's most senior Garda said funding for overtime had run out until the new year.

In the Seanad, Minister Charlie Flanagan said €42m in extra overtime funding would be provided for 2017.

He claimed the suggestion of an overtime ban is not true.

"I want to be clear: there is absolutely no absolute ban on garda overtime in the period leading up to Christmas," he said.

"Any overtime worked during any day in December actually falls due to be in the 2018 Budget in any event," he added.

"I would like to stress that this Government has not been found wanting in providing resources to An Garda Síochána. It is incumbent on Garda management to manage effectively and efficiently the significant resources being made available to them," Minister Flanagan concluded.

Update 3.57pm: Garda management has clarified the ban on overtime in Dublin only applies until next Monday.

Gardaí have been ordered not to work extra hours until then to meet budget requirements.

There had been concerns the ban applied for the rest of the year but gardai say that’s not the case.

Taoiseach Leo Varadkar assured the public there is enough money to provide for garda overtime in December and beyond that.

"The important thing is to assure the public that the state will be policed throughout December and the state will be policed throughout December," he said.

He said we are seeing an increase in the number of gardaí.

"The number of gardaí is increasing. We will have 200 more gardaí next month. Since 2014, we have seen the number of gardaí continuously increase. We have a recruitment campaign as well for the reserve next year," he added.

Update 1pm: The Taoiseach insists there is extra funding available for garda overtime.

It comes after a ban on overtime was put in place across Dublin because the Budget ran out.

Sources within garda management say its Budget for 2018 starts on Monday anyway, so this overtime problem is really only for the rest of the week.

Leo Varadkar said: "There will be a supplementary estimate for the gardaí and that covers over time.

"The Justice Select Committee tomorrow morning will provide a €50.489m supplementary estimate for the pay subhead for the Department of Justice and Equality and that includes €42m for overtime for the gardaí."

Update 8am Cutting Garda overtime like 'early Christmas present' for criminals says GRA: The Garda Representative Association says cutting Garda overtime is like an early Christmas present for the criminals.

The man in charge of policing in Dublin - Assistant Commissioner Pat Leahy - has told senior managers there's not enough money to pay overtime for the rest of the year.

However, the operation targeting the Hutch and Kinahan feud and policing at Dublin port will not be affected.

President of the GRA is Ciaran O' Neill said: "We're astonished by the decision to remove it completely - to have a complete blanket ban on all types of overtime.

"We've always said we don't have the numbers to police this state effectively and efficiently.

"We've always maintained this is a numbers issue, and the only way to supplement our numbers is by overtime.

"Overtime is the cheapest form of policing."

Earlier: Chief Superintendents in the Dublin Metropolitan Region have been told under no circumstances is overtime to be incurred for the rest of the year because of an exhausted budget

There is two exceptions - the armed operation targetting the Kinahan Hutch feud and other criminal gangs, and policing at Dublin Port.

The burglary response units may be disbanded for the rest of the year with priority given to counter and telephone answering, prisoner management and mobile patrol.

Many gardaí are upset about the move saying it will undermine the work they've been doing all year.

Fine Gael TD Alan Farrell has said the issue needs to be addressed to make sure the gardaí are properly resources heading into Christmas, and says the lack over overtime could cause

Sinn Féin last night slammed the reports as ’disgraceful’ saying the issue must be addressed as a matter of urgency.

The party’s spokesperson on Justice Donnchadh Ó Laoghaire went on to say the ban was something which should be addressed immediately.

“The Christmas period is now upon us, and is an extremely busy time for Gardaí nationwide, particularly those posted in larger cities and towns.

“The fact that the Budget has been exhausted before one of the busiest periods of the year points to under-resourcing, and this simply is not sustainable nor acceptable.

“Does this now mean the Gardaí will operate on a skeletal staff for the rest of the year; resulting in larger number of crimes not being responded to?

“This must be addressed as a matter of urgency, and is worrying to say the least.”

However, Assistant Commissioner Pat Leahy has told senior managers that the only exception is the operation targeting the Hutch and Kinahan feud and policing at Dublin port.

The Garda Representative Association has hit out at the move and says it is not possible to police the state without overtime.

Media reports suggest that in Cork and Dublin senior officers have been instructed to cease sanctioning overtime, effective from Tuesday.


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