Shatter warns GRA to keep discipline
Minister for Justice Alan Shatter has said the body representing rank and file gardai was one with a history of resistance to 'change and reform'
Minister for Justice Alan Shatter has said the body representing rank and file gardaí was one with a history of resistance to "change and reform".
He has also warned them that he expected discipline to be maintained despite a vote of no confidence in him by the national executive of the Garda Representative Association (GRA).
He also believed the decision by the GRA and the Association of Garda Sergeants and Inspectors to withdraw from talks aimed at extending the Croke Park agreement was the wrong one.
"Expressions of anger and motions of condemnation are no substitute for rational engagement. There's a talks process taking place to deal with public service pay issues. All of the unions are engaged. All of the other representative bodies are engaged."
"So as to ensure those concerns are addressed you're much better of being in the tent, engaged in the talks, than standing outside the tent. I'd very much encourage them to re-engage."
He was speaking at a passing out ceremony at the Garda College, Templemore, Co Tipperary, for 126 reservists.
He did not think passing motions of no confidence in the Garda Commissioner Martin Callinan at local GRA meetings around the country in the past fortnight was helpful. He said Garda members must retain confidence in senior management. He would not be drawn about his views on the possibility of industrial action by gardaí.
"I have the utmost faith that members of the force will do their duty by the State. The force is a disciplined force. That discipline must be retained."
Commissioner Callinan said he did not believe Garda members would engage in a 'blue flue' action like that seen back in 1998 when gardaí around the country rang in sick for a day.
"I don't believe that that will be the position, I believe common sense will prevail. I have no doubt that will be the position. Albeit that people are hurt and are angry, and are full of all of these emotions that give rise to these concerns. And of course they are venting their anger, and quite rightly. I would presume if I was is in their shoes I would be doing something similar," he said.