Garda talks underway at undisclosed location

The Workplace Relations Commission is overseeing the negotiations

Talks aimed at averting Friday's strike action by Gardaí are thought to be underway.

The Workplace Relations Commission is overseeing the negotiations between Garda Representative groups - the GRA and the AGSI - with Department of Justice officials.

The talks are happening at an undisclosed location.

Security Analyst Declan Power says the decision to withdraw their labour is a big step for members of the force.

"If there's some significant step forward in the negotiations, they may draw back from it", he said. "But they may decide to go ahead purely just to show what they mean to the State. It's a high risk situation."

Gardaí could be ordered to report for duty if Friday's strike goes ahead.

A report in today's Sunday Independent claims management are considering threatening officers with disciplinary action if they refuse to work.

General Secretary of the National Taxi Drivers and Private Hire Association Christy Humphries siad he's been getting calls from members all around the country and that they are "very concerned". 

 

Former Assistant Garda Commissioner Joe Egan thinks it's unlikely that Gardaí will listen to orders.

Labour Senator Ivana Bacik has warned that it may do serious damage to an already fragile force.

"If this does go ahead, I think there is a real concern that it will erode public trust more, and it's already shaken," she said.

The Tánaiste insisted earlier this week that the Lansdowne Road pay deal cannot be abandoned in efforts to avoid the strike.

Frances Fitzgerald told the Dáil that government cannot let the “admiration and respect” it has for the work of the gardaí “blind us to the consequences” of settling the dispute outside the public service pay policy.

“The reality of any negotiation is that both sides do not get everything they want but we must continue in the coming days to work with great intensity – which we will – to map a way forward,” she said.

“There is no point in pretending that the planned action, if it goes ahead, will not constitute a very significant challenge to this country.”

She said the deal on the table from the government includes “very significant benefits” - including the restoration of rent allowance worth over €4,000 to new recruits.