Action needed to improve Garda morale
Labour spokesperson on Justice Seán Sherlock has said that action is needed to restore Garda morale and questions must be answered about why the perception exists that one rule applies to the top, and another to the rank and file as highlighted again today by revelations at the Disclosures Tribunal about the loss of mobile phones belonging to former Commissioners.
Deputy Sherlock said:
“The PWC cultural audit shows the urgent need now for action to improve the morale of ordinary members of An Garda Síochána. With over 6,500 responses, and nearly 40% of the rank and file responding it is a wakeup call for the Minister for Justice about the problems in our police force.
“The culture of fear about speaking up that has developed alongside other findings highlights the need for new management. The reality is that transformation of the culture and operation of An Garda Síochána can’t properly commence until a new Commissioner and senior management team is in place.
“The process of recruitment for a new Commissioner was approved by Government last December but progress has been glacial. Applications closed on 12th April and the Minister should outline an updated timeline for when a new Commissioner will be in place and his proposals to improve morale.
“The view that there is one rule for the top and another for the ordinary member must be tackled. The troubling revelation today that of 12 phones belonging to the two most recent Commissioners only 3 have been recovered for the Disclosures Tribunal copper fastens that view.
“However despite the well-publicised problems, across Ireland our Gardaí continue to serve with pride and distinction in our communities, and I want to reiterate that their service and commitment is recognised and valued.”