Garda Commissioner must reflect on disciplinary issues in light of findings of NBCI

Aodhán Ó Ríordáin TD
11 March 2024

The findings of an NBCI investigation regarding the case of a Community Garda who gave a bike to a pensioner during COVID go to the heart of morale issues within An Garda Síochána, according to Labour justice spokesperson Aodhán Ó Ríordáin.

Deputy Ó Ríordáin said:

“The length of time it has taken to exonerate the Garda for what was clearly an act of kindness has been intolerable and must cause some reflection on the part of the Garda Commissioner.

“Gardaí continue to resign from the force in enormous figures, in the first three weeks of January alone, 17 officers tendered their resignations from the force. In 2023, 169 people resigned from the force. An Garda Síochána has clearly become a very difficult place to work.

“Rather than address well known issues around morale, the justice Minister instead sought to increase the recruitment age. It is pathetic given the fact that we know it is issues within the force that are driving people out.

“It’s clear that in the past the Gardaí have had culture issues and practices that have led to considerable public disquiet.

“However the question now needs to be asked about the balance being shifted to such a degree that the Garda Commissioner’s tenure is undermining morale.

“Labour have not joined other political parties in calling for the Commissioners resignation over the Dublin riots. We also did not agree with the GRA’s personalised ballot of no confidence or their decision not to invite him to their annual conference.

“We believe that stability in the Gardaí is paramount after years of change at the top of the organisation. However the Commissioner must now decide if he is part of the solution or part of the problem.

“The Labour Party believe he can still be the solution to many of the forces issues. But he cannot deny the statistics of resignations and the general feeling of low morale within the force.”

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