GRA led by self-protecting, exclusive ‘old boys’ club’

A major review of the Garda Representative Association (GRA) has heavily criticised almost every aspect of its operation as inadequate or archaic and described its rules and constitution as no longer fit for purpose.

GRA led by self-protecting, exclusive ‘old boys’ club’

The review by international consultancy firm Ampersand recommended a complete overhaul of GRA structures, after hearing that the regime was one of “jobs for the boys”, operating out of an “ivory tower”.

The report, which included widespread consultation of the 10,200 members, noted a perception that the central executive committee had “evolved into an ‘old boys’ club which is somewhat self-perpetuating, exclusive, and self-protecting”.

The report noted that, in 2016, €1.14m was spent in the GRA on travel and subsistence, accounting for 46% of the association’s income. Two thirds of the money spent on travel and subsistence was attributable to the central executive committee.

Included in the findings in the 94-page report were that:

  • The association is not meeting the reasonable expectation of members;
  • There is significant dysfunction in how the elected leadership body functions;
  • The dysfunction is affecting the reputation and the standing of the GRA;
  • Accounting and reporting systems are archaic and less than adequate;
  • Transparency in financial accounting and reporting is inadequate;
  • Communication systems are archaic, and capable of being partisan
  • .

The review recommends an immediate overhaul with a 2025 target finish.

GRA communications director John O’Keeffe told RTÉ radio on Saturday the report would be delivered to a delegate conference in the coming weeks and it recommended the “top table had become too big” and the GRA needed to be more devolved.

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