Overtime ban ‘tying hands of Gardaí behind their backs’ – Ó Laoghaire
Speaking in the Dáil today, Sinn Féin spokesperson on Justice Donnchadh Ó Laoghaire TD expressed grave concern at the ban on Garda overtime, and the implications it will have for frontline policing.
The Cork South-Central TD said:
“The Garda Commissioner, last week, announced a ban on Garda overtime, causing concern among Gardaí, the GRA, and indeed the public. This is with three full months left in the year.
“Due to the lack of frontline Gardaí, overtime has become a fact of life, essential just to keep a station and a district functioning on a basic level. Stations cannot function properly without it.
“Indeed, overtime played a major role in the significant successes that the Gardaí have had in recent times in tackling the scourge of serious and organised crime and fluent. A lack of overtime will seriously hamper the ability of the Gardaí to continue with these operations.
“The Minister for Justice must immediately meet the GRA and Commissioner Harris, specifically on this matter, to allow them to outline the enormous impact that this will have on frontline policing and to examine alternative funding sources, rather than tying the hands of the Gardaí behind their back with this blunt instrument.
“There are three months in the year left, including the Christmas period, which often sees a significant spike in police work, in increased public order issues, and burglaries. I know concern has been expressed by Gardaí right across the country who are at an absolute loss as to how they will be able to maintain an acceptable level of policing.
“This will bite in terms the visibility of Gardaí and will have an impact on policing, and the Minister and Commissioner should resolve before it reaches crisis point.”