Update: Looming Garda strike forces early Cabinet meeting, Justice Minister cancels London trip

Update 12.30pm:Taoiseach Enda Kenny has brought forward the weekly meeting of the Cabinet to today on foot of the looming strike by 12,500 members of An Garda Siochana.

Update: Looming Garda strike forces early Cabinet meeting, Justice Minister cancels London trip

Update 12.30pm:Taoiseach Enda Kenny has brought forward the weekly meeting of the Cabinet to today on foot of the looming strike by 12,500 members of An Garda Siochana.

The Cabinet was due to meet tomorrow morning for an hour ahead of Mr Kenny’s All-Island forum on Brexit but ministers will instead gather in Government Buildings at 2pm today.

It is understood that Mr Kenny called the full meeting of ministers today as tomorrow’s meeting was due to be curtailed because of the cancellation of Dáil holidays and the Forum.

Daniel McConnell of the Irish Examiner has also learned that Tánaiste and Justice Minister Frances Fitzgerald has cancelled a number of events in London today.

Government sources have said she will update the Cabinet on the latest on the dispute which saw a new deal rejected by the Garda Representative Association (GRA) last night, as well as discussing contingency plans.

It is also understood that for the Army to be deployed on the streets during the work stoppage, a formal request would need to be made by the Minister for Justice.

Any use of Army personnel will have to be done under the supervision of a ranking Garda officer, as is the case in cash transit operations.

It is expected some details of the contingency plans will be released by Government after the Cabinet meeting.

Latest: Speaking on her way into a meeting of senior members of the AGSI today, the association's president Antoinette Cunningham said: "Our executive have a decision to make today. To speculate (on whether Friday's strike will go ahead) would be unfair at this point."

Update 11am:Senior members of the Association of Garda Sergeants and Inspectors (AGSI) are meeting this morning to discuss planned strike action on Friday.

They have gathered in Dublin, hours after their colleagues in the GRA rejected a government package aimed at resolving their industrial dispute.

The Cabinet will meet this afternoon and all aspects of the garda dispute will be discussed by the Ministers and Taoiseach Enda Kenny.

Original report:

A government minister has said contingency plans "are well underway" in preparation for Friday's Garda strike.

The strike looks set to go ahead after the Garda Representatives Association's executive unanimously turned down the latest proposals from the Government.

Members of the powerful group's executive committee, which represents rank-and-file officers, heavily criticised the proposal in a lengthy meeting on Monday night which senior officials described as "completely negative".

A final bid to avert the unprecedented action could see an invitation from the Labour Court for both sides to attend a hearing tomorrow.

Meanwhile, Minister for Foreign Affairs Charlie Flanagan (pictured) said it was important that channels of communications remained open.

"Contingency plans are well underway under the auspices of the Minister for Justice Frances Fitzgerald. There will of course need to be the highest level of contingency," he said.

"But our ultimate aim is to see a resolution of this dispute, and no strike."

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