Sinn Féin spokesperson on Justice Martin Kenny today called on the Minister for Justice to clarify if any discussions have been held with Garda superintendents or the Association of Garda Sergeants & Inspectors (AGSI) in relation to the ongoing industrial action, which has resulted in many superintendents refusing to work outside their core duties.
This action has led to a number of investigations by the Garda Síochana Ombudsman Commission being delayed, and unable to offer an outcome to complainants.
Speaking from his Sligo-Leitrim constituency today, Teachta Kenny said:
“While there was a very brief discussion of the industrial action over the summer, we have heard little since. It is my understanding that the dispute relates to a pay increase for the superintendents, which they have yet to receive.
“It seems the agreement was made for an increase in the availability allowance, and government never followed through with it.
“The Department and the Minister for Justice have been completely silent on the entire dispute, except to say that proposals were being drawn up last July. I have received correspondence from GSOC as late as last Thursday, stating that investigations being carried out by superintendents will be delayed indefinitely.
“A backlog with GSOC cases has now occurred as a result of this industrial action, as superintendents are often responsible for investigating a case that has been referred to the ombudsman, due to, as GSOC have stated, ‘a lack of personnel and resources’.
“As superintendents consider this work to be outside the remit of their core duties, they have now ended that goodwill.
“That has now resulted in a number of GSOC investigations grinding to a halt, which is just not acceptable for anyone in the midst of a GSOC investigation – be it a civilian or a member of An Garda Síochana.
“While the industrial action is a matter for the superintendents, the department, and the Workplace Relations Commission, the delays related to the lack of personnel and resources within GSOC must be placed firmly at the minister’s feet.”