Young Gardaí threatening to leave force over low pay

“Something needs to be done by the end of June” the Garda Representative Association has said

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Gardaí at a recruitment ceremony, Templemore garda college, Co Tipperary. Photo:

Morale is “at an all-time low” in an Garda Siochana as new recruits struggle to survive on their annual pay of €23,000 a year.

Speaking to the Sunday Independent the vice president of the Garda Representative Association (GRA) Ciaran O'Neill called on the incoming government to address the problem by restoring pay which was cut during the recession.

"I've had people who have intimated that they want to leave the force, but they want to wait to see what the outcome of the review [of An Garda Siochana] is. I'm hoping that whatever the outcome is, that it will restore their pay. There is a serious feeling of negativity among our new people. I think they're finding it extremely tough."

Mr O'Neill continued: "I think there's a severe urgency because come July [when the Haddington Road agreement expires], there's a threat to freeze the pay increments, and that will keep those people on a salary of €23,000. There is an urgency here. The clock is ticking. Something needs to be done by the end of June.

"Morale is at an all-time low and people are frustrated. They're hearing that the economy is recovering but they're not feeling it in their pockets," he added.