Garda deployment to Middle East halted by pay disagreement

Eight officers, two sergeants were due to interview refugees and asylum seekers in Jordan

The deployment of a group of gardaí to the Middle East last week as part of the Government’s refugee protection programme was cancelled following a disagreement over pay.

It is understood that eight officers and two sergeants were due to fly to Jordan on Friday for 13 days to interview up to 300 refugees and asylum seekers before sanctioning their relocation to Ireland.

The plans were cancelled after gardaí were told they would not be paid overtime for working their days off, the Garda Representative Association (GRA) said. It is understood flights and accommodation had been booked for the group that was due to travel.

In a statement, An Garda Síochána said it remains "fully committed" to its obligations under the Irish Refugee Protection Programme.


“The deployment did not go ahead, on this occasion, as agreement on terms of conditions of travel was not reached,” it said. “An Garda Síochána continues to work with our partners to fulfil our obligations.”

Philip McAnenly, deputy secretary general of the GRA, told RTÉ those who volunteered for the mission were informed that they would “not be paid the accepted and agreed rates of pay” at the “11th hour”.

“As a result they withdrew from the mission, but not before in the first instance trying to ensure that the agreement they had would be honoured and observed, not only in the letter but in the spirit. But unfortunately they didn’t receive that commitment and as a result they didn’t travel last week,” he added.

Sarah Burns

Sarah Burns

Sarah Burns is a reporter for The Irish Times