GRA calls for audit on number of assaults on Gardaí

The association, which represents over 10,500 rank-and-file Gardaí, is holding its annual conference

GRA calls for audit on number of assaults on Gardaí

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The Garda Representative Association (GRA) is calling for an audit on the number and nature of assaults on members of the force.

It comes as the annual conference of the GRA - which represents more than 10,500 rank-and-file Gardaí - gets underway in Galway.

Among the motions for discussion over the next two days include Garda safety, firearms training and the freedom to grow a beard.

Ciaran O’Neill, president of the association, says he is concerned about the number of Gardaí being assaulted.

Earlier this month, separate incidents in Dublin and Mayo saw several Gardaí assaulted.

Speaking to Newstalk Drive, Mr O'Neill said: "They're not measured by Garda management unless a member goes sick and is off injured - but our members are being assaulted on a daily basis.

"Nor do our management class us, when we are assaulted, as victims. Everyone has the right and entitlement to be the victim of a crime - except a member of An Garda Síochana. We think that's very wrong."

He argued that a minimum sentence should be introduced for anyone convicted of an assault on any emergency service worker.

"I think we should start - depending on the nature and gravity of the offence - [with] at least one year in prison," he suggested.