Justice Minister wants mechanisms to ensure Garda strikes 'do not happen'

A report has proposed pension sanctions for any Garda who takes part in industrial actions

Justice Minister wants mechanisms to ensure Garda strikes 'do not happen'

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The Tánaiste says the Horgan report will form an important part of the Public Pay Commission.

The report, published yesterday, recommends the GRA and AGSI become full trade unions.

It also proposes pension sanctions for any Garda who goes on strike or takes any other form of industrial action.

Report author John Horgan - a former chair of the Labour Court - admitted it is an unprecedented idea, but says it is something the Justice Minister Frances Fitzgerald should consider.

Yesterday, the president of the Garda Representative Association (GRA) questioned the legality of the sanction, while the AGSI has branded the pension proposal as an "emotional knee-jerk reaction to the threat by individual people to withdraw their labour".

Tánaiste and Justice Minister Frances Fitzgerald says she wants mechanisms to be put in place that will ensure Garda strikes will not happen.

But she says the report published yesterday will be part of the discussions in the new year.

Speaking to Pat Kenny this morning, Minister Fitzgerald explained: "The mechanism that John Horgan has suggested may well have legal consequences.

"It's one mechanism, but I think we definitely have to consider there will be a range of issues that we'll be looking at in the discussions in the months ahead," she added.

She also observed: "I don't want to see strikes, and I think strikes should not happen in the police service.

"I want to arrive at a point where we have mechanisms in place for Government in relation to An Garda Síochana, where we will ensure strikes do not happen."