Justice Minister under fire over Garda row

Helen McEntee. (c) Tipp FM via Canva.com.

A Tipperary TD has launched a stinging attack on the Minister for Justice.

Deputy Mattie McGrath was one of many to speak during a Private Members Motion in the Dáil on the dispute between Gardaí and Commissioner Drew Harris.

He accused Minister Helen McEntee of having a lack of respect for members of An Garda Siochana.

“Will you wake up and smell the coffee. A PR exercise and stunt walking down O’Connell Street flanked by senior Gardaí is no good. It doesn’t cut it. I salute the Gardaí for the bravery and the courage they’ve shown against all kinds of adversity. And now when they need to be supported and respected – and they’re not getting respect from this Commissioner nor from you. You’re out minutes after he says he’s not going to resign or listen to them and do his own thing, you’re giving him 100% support. Please cop on and understand what’s going on and get the Commissioner in there to listen to his members.”

Meanwhile Deputy Michael Lowry described the rapid decline in the relationship between rank & file members and management of An Garda Siochana as disturbing.

The Thurles TD told the Dáil that the dispute between the Garda Representative Association and Commissioner Harris is about much more than rosters.

“No moves have been made to formalise the increase in the Garda training allowance of €184 per week which is derisory. Poor pension entitlements for new recruits since 2013 are also a determining factor for anyone considering a career in the Gardaí. Pay terms and conditions for Gardaí are not adequate and will not attract new recruits.”