"The Commissioner has said we have adequate resources. That just patently isn't the case"

An open letter claims gardaí have "more work, more box ticking, more oversight, more pressure"

"The Commissioner has said we have adequate resources. That just patently isn't the case"

Image: RollingNews.ie

A Garda has said that it 'just patently isn't case' that the force has adequate resources, despite claims by the Garda Commissioner. 

An open letter to Noirin O'Sullivan was written by a member of the force - Ian Lester from the Cork Division - several weeks ago.

It was published on a Garda Facebook group and also sent to the Commissioner.

He claims the Commissioner's office is compromised by its close relationship with Government and claims there is a disconnect between Garda management and members on the ground.

The letter states: “I have multiples of the workload I had in 2007. I have less colleagues. I have less money. I have more work, more box ticking, more oversight, more pressure, more Chiefs, less Indians - but less training.

"I have an obsolete uniform, I have antiquated equipment, I have sub-standard vehicles. My job is more dangerous due to all the other problems."

The Garda Representative Association has said its members will 'withdraw services' on four days in November amid their ongoing demand for pay restoration.

Garda Ian Lester says the lack of money in the force is frustrating.

Speaking to Paul Williams on Newstalk Breakfast, Ian explained: "When the question has arisen about resources, the Commissioner has said we have adequate resources. That just patently isn't the case.

"I think she probably knows it herself. Guards, when they here it, it gets the hackles up straight away, because it just isn't the case."

You can read the full letter below:

Open Letter to the Garda Commissioner:

Commissioner,
I am writing to you to try to give you and insight into how the job of being a Garda really works in the real world in 2016, and how to make a few simple changes to improve the lot of said Gardai - many of them cost neutral, but not all.

I work on the Uniform Regular, but just like Uniform Non Core, Traffic Corps, Detective Branch members of Garda Rank - I have multiples of the workload I had in 2007. I have less colleagues. I have less money. I have more work, more box ticking, more oversight, more pressure, more Chiefs, less Indians - but less training. I have an obsolete uniform, I have antiquated equipment, I have sub-standard vehicles, my job is more dangerous due to all the other problems. I make more decisions on a daily basis then you, any Super or any Chief. I have more and more ways to be the subject of a disciplinary investigation. I am guilty until proven innocent.

I would also like to give you some advice on how to make yourself feel more secure in your own job, and help you actually leave a legacy of how you can leave the job in a better state than you found it.

Firstly, start by telling the truth when asked the next time about the resources available. Telling the truth costs nothing. Every person in the country knows that you are not telling the truth when you say that we have enough resources. You are fooling no-one.

Acknowledge the facts that Gardai are your most important resource.

Stop propagating the myth that there are more Gardai than there are. The truth costs nothing.

Acknowledge that the Reserves serve no real purpose. The truth costs nothing.

Stop going along with the repeated announcements of the same recruitment drives. The truth costs nothing.

Tell the truth about how many people are retiring. The truth costs nothing.

Tell the truth and acknowledge that every member promoted to sergeant is in fact taking members away from frontline policing. The truth costs nothing.

Make investigating and solving crimes (remember that?) the priority again, not box ticking, not "making sure we cover all the bases".

Stop implementing new policies that tie Sergeants to their desks with incessant returns and Pulse monitoring and requiring members to incessantly update their work - whether there's an update or not.

Acknowledge that new Gardai are not being paid a living wage. The truth costs nothing.

Acknowledge that the poor pay of Gardai on the frontline does make them vulnerable.

Actually hand over promotions to the Policing Authority. Acknowledge that the system is broken. The truth costs nothing.

Acknowledge that morale among members is bad, as bad as its ever been. The truth costs nothing.

Admit that Smart Policing, TRUST Policy, Leave Your Lights On, Modernisation Program are just buzzwords - and that it is actually the job of whole departments of desk jockeys to come up with them. The truth costs nothing.

Stop listening to Sinn Fein, Clare Daly, Mick Wallace, Mick Clifford et al. No matter what you say or do, you'll never please them. You shouldn't try.

Support the cause that Gardai deserve to have their pay restored. The truth costs nothing.

You are NOT a politician, you are NOT elected. Don't say that Garda pay isn't your responsibility. You are a member of An Garda Siochana, just like me. Support me, and I'll support you.

You are not the most important member of An Garda Siochana. I am. The Garda that someone meets in the middle of the night on the side of the road at their accident is. The Garda that people report their child missing to is. The member investigating their burglary is. The people in Finglas, Moyross, Knocknaheeny and Ballybeg don't care who the Commissioner is, or the Chief or the Super. They're no good to them.

Don't allow yourself to be politicised. People expect politicians to lie, cheat and steal. Perhaps playing politics helped to get you where you are, but it'll also be the reason you get the sack - unless you make yourself immune to it. Don't fear that you might lose your job. You don't need the money, you aren't saving up to get a deposit for a house. You could be remembered for making a difference to how Ireland is policed, but at the moment your just a figurehead for government policy - and to take the fall when it doesn't work.

Don't answer to door late at night to a man in a suit. He's not calling with your "Employee of the Week" Award.