Garda body urges action over Michael D’Arcy’s ‘offensive’ comments

GRA contacts Taoiseach over ‘baseless claims’ local gardaí ‘let down’ QIH executives

Minister of State Michael D’Arcy: Garda Representative Association says his comments risk ‘undermining public confidence in our members policing the  Border’. Photograph: Dara Mac Dónaill/The Irish Times

Minister of State Michael D’Arcy: Garda Representative Association says his comments risk ‘undermining public confidence in our members policing the Border’. Photograph: Dara Mac Dónaill/The Irish Times

 

Taoiseach Leo Varadkar has been contacted by the Garda’s biggest staff body and asked to take action over comments by Minister of State Michael D’Arcy claiming gardaí had “let down” the directors of Quinn Industrial Holdings over the campaign of violence directed against them.

The Garda Representative Association (GRA) has written to Mr Varadkar urging him to act, saying Mr D’Arcy’s refusal to comment since making his remarks at the weekend had compounded the situation.

Describing Mr D’Arcy’s remarks as “baseless claims”, the GRA said it wants Mr D’Arcy to apologise for “blaming frontline gardaí over the policing response to the victimisation” of the QIH executives.

The association, which represents about 12,000 rank-and-file gardaí in a 14,200-strong Garda force, previously said blaming frontline gardaí was akin to blaming bank clerks for the banking crash over a decade ago.

Continuing silence

GRA president Jim Mulligan has now said Mr D’Arcy’s continuing silence “reinforces the offence he has caused to frontline gardaí” in the Cavan-Monaghan division.

“The GRA reiterates that our members are due an apology for his reckless and irresponsible comments.

“He risks undermining public confidence in our members policing the Border. This will inevitably damage morale among rank-and-file gardaí who are working in an area where dangerous people operate.

“Minister D’Arcy’s status as a Government Minister makes his comments, and subsequent silence, all the more irresponsible.”

Mr D’Arcy, Minister of State for Public Expenditure, had said on RTÉ’s The Week in Politics the campaign of violence and threats against QIH “should have been dealt with sooner and better” at local Garda level.