Sinn Féin spokesperson on Justice, Martin Kenny TD, has called on the Taoiseach to intervene in the ongoing retention difficulties facing Garda management.
His comments come as Garda management confirmed that a return to the old roster shift was unworkable without impacting on delivery of a police service.
Teachta Kenny said:
“It has been clear for some time now that the Gardaí are unhappy with the rosters being suggested as part of the 2022 Working Time Agreement. This was particularly true for so-called ‘non-core’ members which include detectives and community policing units.
“Under new proposals, those members would face an additional 43 days of work, with some looking at the possibility of working seven-day shifts back-to-back depending on the roster. There would simply be no work life balance for these members.
“In the last round of negotiations, the Commissioner informed Garda representatives that he would consider a return to the previous roster agreement. However, Garda senior management have now confirmed to the Garda Representative Association that they are unable to do this due to the impact it may have on their ability to police.
“To me, this is another symptom of the crisis in Garda recruitment and retention and it needs to be remedied in a meaningful way.
“We see a significant number of Garda members leave within the first few years of attesting for a variety of reasons. Two of the most common reasons centre around the expectation of this work not matching the reality.
“This is also a knock-on effect of policies implemented during the mid-2000s when Templemore was closed by an austerity government. The years without recruitment saw additional pressures placed on Gardai as those leaving or retiring each year were not replenished.
“It is time now for the Taoiseach to step in and address the ongoing recruitment and retention issue, which has the potential now to cause significant policing difficulties if it continues.”