Humphreys 'certainly supports' random drug-testing for Gardaí


Jack Quann
Jack Quann

09.23 2 Jun 2021


Share this article


The Justice Minister Heather Humphreys has said she supports Garda Commissioner Drew Harris over plans to randomly drug-test Gardaí.

Under new proposals, drug testing will start for all Garda personnel in approximately six months.

Gardaí who test positive for a controlled substance will face dismissal and possible prosecution.

Advertisement

The Association of Garda Sergeants and Inspectors (AGSI) has criticised the move.

Its General-Secretary Antoinette Cunningham said: "AGSI supports any initiative that builds public trust and confidence. We recognise that members of An Garda Síochána should be above reproach in the exercise of their duties.

"For that reason we broadly support the introduction of polices which can enhance these matters."

However she said: "The AGSI are unaware of plans to drug-test all Garda personnel within six months and from early discussions on these issues, understood that it would be random drug testing for approximately 5% of the workforce and 'with cause' testing.

"We call on Garda management to urgently re-engage staff associations in a consultation process on these very important issues."

But Minister Humphreys told Newstalk Breakfast she supports the plan.

"I certainly support the commissioner in his efforts regarding drug-testing.

"We have to bring in legislation to do this, and we will be bringing legislation through the Oireachtas and through the Dáil.

"That'll give us an opportunity to tease out the issues that are being raised, and we can further consider the points that people are making at that stage.

"I'm happy to hear the views, but as I said I do support the commissioner in his efforts to do this".

Property tax increases

Meanwhile Minister Humphreys said changes to the Local Property Tax will mean an average increase of around €90.

It comes after Cabinet signed off on proposed changes that will see tax charged on properties built since 2013 for the first time.

Homes will also be re-valued in November, and around one-third of homeowners will see their bills increasing.

Minister Humphreys said: "The majority of households will see no increase... five in ten will stay the same, one in ten will see a reduction and the rest will see an increase.

"Probably an average of jump in one band, which is about €90".

On property taxes now being kept in their local area, instead of being distributed elsewhere, Minister Humphreys said there will be a balance for rural regions.

"There will be an equalisation fund, so that means that properties - mainly in rural Ireland - will get subsidised from the Government.

"They'll make up the difference, because of course they don't have the same population base as the large urban centres.

"That's something that has been discussed as we know at length over the last number of years.

"Some in the cities would say that it's a disincentive to them because they have to pay back some of their taxes.

"But I'm satisfied that as long as there is an equalisation fund in place that will support those counties that have lower populations... I think that to me is fair".

Main image: Garda Commissioner Drew Harris and Justice Minister Heather Humphreys attending the annual Garda Memorial Day for members of An Garda Síochána killed in the line of duty at Dublin Castle in May 2021. Picture by: Leah Farrell / RollingNews.ie

Share this article


Read more about

AGSI Antoinette Cunningham Gardai Heather Humphreys Local Property Tax Newstalk Breakfast Property Tax Increase Random Drug-testing Random Drug-tests

Most Popular

Live: Title

Now playing

00:00:00 / 00:00:00
Added to queue
Removed from queue

On Air

Share

Share


Up next

Episode title
Show
Duration

You currently have no podcasts in your queue.

Go to podcasts

On Air

The Hard Shoulder

The Hard Shoulder

16:00-19:00

Share

Up next

OFF THE BALL

OFF THE BALL

19:00-22:00

Share

THE TOM DUNNE SHOW

THE TOM DUNNE SHOW

22:00-00:00

Share

BEST OF NEWSTALK

BEST OF NEWSTALK

00:00-06:00

Share

BREAKFAST BRIEFING

BREAKFAST BRIEFING

06:00-06:30

Share

BREAKFAST BUSINESS

BREAKFAST BUSINESS

06:30-07:00

Share

NEWSTALK BREAKFAST

NEWSTALK BREAKFAST

07:00-09:00

Share

THE PAT KENNY SHOW

THE PAT KENNY SHOW

09:00-12:00

Share

LUNCHTIME LIVE

LUNCHTIME LIVE

12:00-14:00

Share

MONCRIEFF

MONCRIEFF

14:00-16:00

Share

THE HARD SHOULDER

THE HARD SHOULDER

16:00-19:00

Share

00:00:00 / 00:00:00

Share on