Garda union boss survives motion of no confidence

GRA General Secretary, Pat Ennis faced the motion following a split over his handling of last Friday’s averted strike action

The head of the union representing rank and file gardaí in their negotiations with the government has survived a motion of no confidence.

Pat Ennis, General Secretary of the Garda Representative Association (GRA) faced the motion following a split over his handling of last Friday’s averted strike action.

The split stemmed from the late decision to ask certain union members to work through the strike “in order to support operational need.”

Members of almost 20 specialist units were asked to work through the industrial action.

Announcing the move last week, the GRA said it would ensure a "skeletal service to protect the security of the State, prevent and detect serious crime and preserve vital evidence."

Mr Ennis said they had taken the decision because the government had “failed to make effective contingency plans.”

“This government has perilously gambled with public safety in its treatment of our members,” he said.

“History shows that Gardaí put their lives on the line to protect the public. To this end, we are doing everything we can to ensure that the risk to the public is contained and minimised.”

The industrial action was eventually cancelled - without the need for the contingency plan - following a last minute deal agreed at the Labour Court.

however, Mr Ennis has been facing discontent within the organisation from some members who felt the association had buckled under pressure in the face of an all-out strike.

Today’s vote had serious implications for the state as a vote of no confidence could potentially have affected the garda deal agreed in the Labour Court.

The planned industrial action has been deferred with a garda decision on the pay deal due “no later than November 4th.”