Deputy Denis Naughten has called for the direct intervention of An Taoiseach and Government regarding the ongoing challenges faced by An Garda Síochána. He specifically requested an immediate review of the current Garda Síochána force with the engagement of all stakeholders, to be chaired by An Taoiseach and to make recommendations within twelve weeks.
“The reality is that morale within the force is at an all-time low and the present action on overtime is leading to anxiety from people in rural communities and for older people, and this cannot be allowed to continue,” stated Denis Naughten.
“This review needs to immediately address declining morale within the force and the issues around retention, the mandatory retirement age of 60 years, recruitment, transfers, rostering, entry-level pay and the need to improve work practices.
“With regard to the rostering issue, this should be independently evaluated with data analysts brought in to look at a solution that will be acceptable to all sides. Such an unbiased analysis of the Garda dispute might be the first step towards mending strained relationships”.
Deputy Naughten continued by pointing out that the increasing number of assaults on Gardaí while on duty must also be addressed.
“We should get tougher on such crimes and create new legislation to act as a deterrent with mandatory custodial sentences for the criminal action of purposely causing injury to a Garda.
“It is also imperative that there is a baseline per capita Garda manpower figure in each county to ensure that certain areas in the State are not under-policed, particularly for rural counties across the west of Ireland,” concluded Denis Naughten.