4 Garda divisions threaten to pull out of GRA


REPRESENTATIVES of about 1,100 gardai are threatening to quit the Garda Representative Association (GRA) if the internal dispute over representation is not settled.

Four Garda divisions have set a two month deadline for resolution of the dispute, after which they intend to withdraw from the GRA and set up their own insurance scheme. This effectively means severance from the GRA.

A similar course was adopted by 2,500 other gardai in July 1994. Most of these joined the breakaway Garda Federation.

Up to now, the divisions of West Cork, Louth/Meath, Tipperary and Cavan/Monaghan have marked their opposition to the GRA leadership by withdrawing attendance from the GRA's central executive committee.

The leaders of the four divisions met in Macroom, Co Cork, last week and passed a motion of no confidence in the GRA leadership. The West Cork division wrote to the GRA officer board directing it to take immediate steps to resolve the dispute.

It added that, if the dispute was not resolved before the end of February, the central executive committee should resign. A statement issued to members added. "The members of the divisional committee were instructed to seek alternative insurance cover for members in the event of their members deciding to withdraw their subscriptions from the GRA."

The GRA leadership is standing firm against recent no confidence [motions from nine of its remaining 22 divisions. Meanwhile, the Minister for Justice, Mrs Owen, is "proceeding with legislation to set up a reconstituted Garda representative association which, she hopes, all gardai will agree to join.