‘Time is right’ for Garda pay rise, says Agsi general secretary

John Redmond also calls for Garda oversight bodies to be merged into one authority ahead of conference

The general secretary of the Association of Garda Sergeants and Inspectors (AGSI) has said the time is right for the Garda Síochána to get a pay rise.

Ahead of the AGSI conference in Co Meath on Monday, John Redmond said members would be asking for the reinstatement of pay lost through cuts and the introduction of new taxes such as the universal social charge and the public service pension levy.

“We also remind Government of their promises to end ‘emergency’ financial measures once the economy turned the corner,” he said.

Mr Redmond said public pay had been slashed by 14 per cent since the economic crash.

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He also said "it made sense" to merge the Garda Inspectorate and the Garda Síochána Ombudsman Commission (Gsoc).

“Both of them now have similar powers. It doesn’t make sense, two separate bodies carrying out the same work,” he said.

“We think it prudent that Government should look at the amalgamation. There is no reason why they should work independently of each other.”

Mr Redmond said the merge would have financial and operational benefits.

He said he would like to see the type of work the new Garda Authority would do before suggesting merging all three.

“We don’t know its role or functions as of yet,” he said.

There will be a total of 30 motions put forward at the conference on issues including investment in training, increasing the force strength and policing methods and techniques and responsibilities of sergeants and inspectors.

Minister for Justice Frances Fitzgerald is due to speak on the last day of the conference on Wednesday.

Last year, former minister for justice Alan Shatter did not speak at the event.

Rachel Flaherty

Rachel Flaherty

Rachel Flaherty is an Irish Times journalist