Understaffed Bray Garda station forced to rely on Gardaí to work overtime – Brady
Sinn Féin TD for Wicklow/East Carlow John Brady has raised serious concerns with the Minister for Justice Frances Fitzgerald in relation to the utterly inadequate Garda staffing levels in the Bray District, particularly in Greystones Garda Station.
Speaking on foot of raising the matter with the Minister, Deputy Brady said:
“The current staffing levels in the Bray District are simply unacceptable and indeed, dangerously low. In recent weeks, I have been contacted about the lack of Gardaí in the area by a number of constituents who feel very worried and vulnerable particularly, those living alone. This is not good enough.
“As it stands, I have been informed that Gardaí have had to be employed on overtime in order to cover basic shifts at the station adding increased costs to an already depleted budget.
“I have also been informed that three out of the ten recent recruits placed in the Bray district have been forced to leave the force due to pay scale difficulties. When Fine Gael & Labour created a two tier pay structure in 2013, they left new Garda entrants starting on wages 10% lower than their colleagues and this still remains the case. Given the fact that new Gardaí have to endure the same every day risks as their colleagues, this is inherently unfair.
“Compared to the starting salary in the North, new entrants to An Garda Síochána earn almost €10,000 less. This is an issue that the Minister and the Government need to address. It is discriminatory. Gardaí play a significant role in our communities and this must be reflected in their pay regardless of the year they started working. With that, if new Garda recruits leave the force, as was the case in Bray then these Gardaí must be replaced.
“Having raised this issue with the Minister, I am in no way satisfied with her response nor am I satisfied at her inability to share my concerns given the gravity of the situation.
“The Minister, in her reply assured me that the Garda Commissioner has personnel around the country who monitor and review Garda numbers in each and every district. Considering the reality of the situation in the Bray District, this provides little or no comfort.
“With that, in her reply, the Minister did confirm that 150 new Garda recruits will attest in November of this year. My prime objective now is to ensure that a sufficient number of these recruits are stationed in the Bray District to ensure that Wicklow, as a whole has the required number of Gardaí in the County.”