AGSI conference: Garda Commissioner refuses to be drawn on threat of strike

Noirin O'Sullivan addresses the AGSI Conference. Pic: Paul Mealey

Garda Commissioner Nóirín O’Sullivan yesterday refused to be drawn on threatened industrial action by mid-ranking officers.

The police boss attended the annual conference of the Association of Garda Sergeants and Inspectors but declined to answer specific questions from the media about the looming actions — including AGSI members marching to the Dáil in uniform, picketing the offices of Government ministers and TDs, and possibly taking strike action.

The media was allowed a single question, which centred on the industrial action, but the commissioner took the limited time she made available to cite what the force had achieved; and questioned “accusations” made by AGSI leaders the previous day.

“I have just travelled from Dublin this morning so I haven’t had an opportunity to hear what was said this morning. Certainly, I heard what was said yesterday and it would be very interesting to hear some of the evidence to support the accusations,” she said.

Delegates listen to commissioner Noirín O’Sullivan. Picture: Paul Mealey
Delegates listen to commissioner Noirín O’Sullivan. Picture: Paul Mealey

On Monday, AGSI outgoing president Tim Galvin accused her of placing the corporate image of the organisation above the welfare of gardaí. He also claimed she had failed to spell out to the Government the effects of cuts on the force.

Ms O’Sullivan said it was “a matter of public record” she had pointed out the “significant” effects cuts have had on the organisation.

She said it is important to realise significant investment has been secured in the last two years. This includes €48m to purchase more than 800 garda vehicles; €150m over five years to refurbish Garda stations; and €340m to upgrade technology.

In addition, 550 new gardaí are in training and a further 600 are being recruited this year. She said 460 people have been promoted from garda to sergeant; 43 from sergeant to inspector; and 31 from inspector to super- intendent.

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