600,000 pairs of gloves and vats of sanitiser on way to gardaí

Some 600,000 pairs of gloves are being distributed to gardaí and a further 400,000 are to follow as part of the State’s response to Covid-19.

600,000 pairs of gloves and vats of sanitiser on way to gardaí

Some 600,000 pairs of gloves are being distributed to gardaí and a further 400,000 are to follow as part of the State’s response to Covid-19.

The Garda Representative Association (GRA) said Garda management has also told it that “large vats of sanitiser” are also being provided.

Following meetings with Garda Commissioner Drew Harris, who briefed them on his policing plan, GRA President Jim Mulligan said: “We can assure everyone that our members are focused on the national interest and ensuring everyone is kept safe and their property is secure."

He said the GRA's role is to insist its members are treated fairly and have all the necessary support for their health and safety.

“We are acutely aware of the gravity of the health crisis and the need for exceptional organisational measures to respond to the situation,” Mr Mulligan said.

“Our members will not be found wanting in carrying out our duty. As an association we are fully committed to supporting An Garda Síochána in responding to the Covid-19 crisis.”

He said it was imperative that everyone worked together to ensure the greatest possible cohesion, effectiveness and efficiency of operations.

“Members are facing huge disruption in their work and in their home lives and we call on management to ensure our members are treated fairly and their health and safety prioritised," he said.

“In the national interest, industrial relations matters will be dealt with in confidence at this time.”

He said members would be updated through internal channels as soon as developments arise.

“The GRA’s focus as a representative body is to insist all equipment and supplies necessary for member health and safety is available and that every related protocol is observed at all times,” the GRA president said.

“We have received assurances at the highest level, that members with an underlying medical condition or someone who has a child or other family member with an underlying condition will not be placed at risk. In relation to the deployment of trainees from Templemore, we have been assured they will be accompanied at all times by more experienced colleagues and transferred to locations close to their own home.”

After attending two briefings with Garda management on a new policing plan to be implemented in response to COVID-19, the Association of Garda Sergeants and Inspectors said the plan will require AGSI members to work 12-hour shifts, defer planned retirements, postpone annual leave and potentially be redeployed.

Deputy General Secretary, Antoinette Cunningham said: “Significant disruption to members’ working and family lives is inevitable as we adapt to a new way of working for the short-term. However, we are a frontline service and we are trained for emergency situations. I want to reassure the public that our 2500 Sergeants and Inspectors will not be found wanting in keeping the public safe and aiding authorities in any way that we can.”

She said their priority was public safety and asked the public “to respect the policing of the state during this time”.

Ms Cunningham acknowledged the work that would be done by Garda colleagues right across the organisation.

“We stand together for the people during this pandemic,” she said.

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