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Damien McCarthy "Ireland on brink of police crisis"
16-04-2012, 08:44 PM
Post: #1
Damien McCarthy "Ireland on brink of police crisis"
GRA Conference starts today

Ireland is on the brink of a policing crisis, rank-and-file officers have claimed.

The Garda Representative Association (GRA) said shutting down stations, cutting pay and freezing promotions have taken their toll on the force.

Damien McCarthy, president of the organisation, which represents more than 11,000 grassroots members, issued the stark warning as the GRA gathered for its annual conference.

"I think it's a recipe for disaster," he said. "We have all the necessary ingredients in place now to ensure that we are on the brink of a crisis in this country in terms of policing."

Mr McCarthy said morale was rock-bottom, with officers finding it increasingly difficult to carry out everyday duties. While he singled out a number of austerity measures, he also attacked Justice Minister Alan Shatter over the absence of new laws to better protect officers from violent assaults.

Last year, the GRA urged Mr Shatter to bring in legislation making it a specific offence to assault a garda, paramedic, nurse or other frontline emergency worker. The demand came on the back of figures showing an average of two garda officers are attacked during their work every day.

"It's one of the reasons why morale is so low," said Mr McCarthy. "I think it is an absolute disgrace that this area has been left untouched and nobody seems to care about the difficult challenges that frontline public servants do on a daily basis."

The GRA wants anyone convicted of assaulting a garda or other emergency worker to face jail sentences of up to five years, rather than non-custodial sentences issued under present laws.

Mr McCarthy said the Department of Justice appeared to treat the threat of violence as an acceptable occupational hazard for members of the force. The issue could not be allowed to fester any further, he added.

The GRA president also warned the force was "at a crossroads" over garda station closures. Refusing to say what potential action could be open to gardai, he said he would deliver a "clear message" to Mr Shatter at the two-day gathering in Athlone, Co Westmeath, starting on Tuesday

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16-04-2012, 09:15 PM
Post: #2
RE: Damien McCarthy "Ireland on brink of police crisis"
To be honest I think assaults or any violent crime should carry a jail term regardless of who its against, the fact that its an ES should be used by the Judge to slap on a bigger sentence is appropriate.

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16-04-2012, 09:48 PM
Post: #3
Damien McCarthy "Ireland on brink of police crisis"
(16-04-2012 09:15 PM)Administrator Wrote:  To be honest I think assaults or any violent crime should carry a jail term regardless of who its against, the fact that its an ES should be used by the Judge to slap on a bigger sentence is appropriate.

Overhaul the whole justice system, court in town Tuesday same people there every week, after your hard work.

Fair point there not enough full time gardas now 2000 retired in last two years it will be 4 years or so before there's any more on the street

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16-04-2012, 10:20 PM (This post was last modified: 16-04-2012 10:38 PM by Damned United.)
Post: #4
RE: Damien McCarthy "Ireland on brink of police crisis"
(Admin this thread has potential etc. given that this conference will be ongoing for two days. Would you consider moving it to the LR by any chance)

I hope I'm not shot down for this, but the problem here is not the legislation in my opinion, in so far as assaults on Gardai are concerned. Sec 19 of the CJ Pub Order Act (as every Garda member knows) makes an assault/obstruction of a Garda an offence. On indictment an offender can be sentenced to 5 years or less and fined. Sections 2,3,4 Non Fatal Offences Act cater for other assaults, with even more significant potential penalties.

The problem here is that Gardai and, in fact all ES workers are now seen as fair game. This is most definitely reflected by the attitude of Joe Public, the DPP and even more significantly by our district/circuit court judges. Time and time again files have been returned from the DPP recommending Section 2 assault charges, where Section 3 and 19 charges were recommended, leaving Garda members and supervisors completely baffled. I had the same experience myself as a young member, as many more have had, where a summary case should have been tried on indictment. However, put on a Garda uniform and, if suspected of exercising too much force, you will see the inside of the circuit court pretty quick indeed. But that's another story. When these cases do get to court Garda members are often left wondering why they bothered in the first place. This is not just in reaction to the demoralisingly lenient sentences that are imposed upon offenders, but also let's face it, due to the blasé attitudes of many (though not all) judges toward such incidents.

There is no deterrence in factor in the CJ system for assaults on ES workers it seems. Legislation isn't the problem here, sentencing is. There is no need for mandatory sentences, but until such offences are treated with due gravity by the courts the situation wont change one blind bit. I have said it here before, a Garda's life is now cheaper than it ever was.
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16-04-2012, 10:31 PM
Post: #5
RE: Damien McCarthy "Ireland on brink of police crisis"
The legislation is there, it's just not being used. What we need is an explanation as to why the DPP never goes with it. I'm surprised the unions representing POs & the other EMS haven't gone rasher over this.
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16-04-2012, 10:41 PM
Post: #6
RE: Damien McCarthy "Ireland on brink of police crisis"
as it was started by a non verified that would be unfair however I have duplicated it for sensitive chat in the locker room

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17-04-2012, 07:58 PM
Post: #7
Damien McCarthy "Ireland on brink of police crisis"
We do a job that others either resent and view with contempt or are jealous of us having these jobs. But we do our job to the best of our ability. We spend time away from family and friends to serve the people who do support us and resent us. We risk our lives for friends and colleagues to ensue they go home safe. We do our job not for fortune and fame and feel honoured when we do our job well.

All we ask for is that if we are attacked and assaulted that these are treated correctly. We ask that we are respected by those we serve and those that employ us. So if an ES member is assaulted then it is punished accordingly.

He who fights with monsters should look to it that he himself does not become a monster.
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17-04-2012, 08:15 PM
Post: #8
RE: Damien McCarthy "Ireland on brink of police crisis"
Unfortunately as you have pointed out, I do believe that we are resented by many.

Whatever your reaching for better be a sandwich....coz your gonna eat it......
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17-04-2012, 08:37 PM
Post: #9
RE: Damien McCarthy "Ireland on brink of police crisis"
(16-04-2012 09:48 PM)pogan Wrote:  Overhaul the whole justice system, court in town Tuesday same people there every week, after your hard work.

Fair point there not enough full time gardas now 2000 retired in last two years it will be 4 years or so before there's any more on the street


Taken from todays Minister speech to the GRA conference.

Quote:There was criticism, too, for GRA president Damien McCarthy who was yesterday reported as saying the force had lost 2,000 members.

Numbers had stood at just under 14,400 at the end of 2010, and were about 13,650 today – “a reduction of just under 800 over the period of 15 months since then – not 2,000 as your President was reported as saying yesterday,” Shatter said.
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17-04-2012, 10:52 PM
Post: #10
Damien McCarthy "Ireland on brink of police crisis"
(17-04-2012 08:37 PM)Clio Wrote:  
(16-04-2012 09:48 PM)pogan Wrote:  Overhaul the whole justice system, court in town Tuesday same people there every week, after your hard work.

Fair point there not enough full time gardas now 2000 retired in last two years it will be 4 years or so before there's any more on the street


Taken from todays Minister speech to the GRA conference.

Quote:There was criticism, too, for GRA president Damien McCarthy who was yesterday reported as saying the force had lost 2,000 members.

Numbers had stood at just under 14,400 at the end of 2010, and were about 13,650 today – “a reduction of just under 800 over the period of 15 months since then – not 2,000 as your President was reported as saying yesterday,” Shatter said.

Yes minister also said there was no morale problem in the gardas....you are serious? " conference laughs"

So your saying when member comes on duty get told there's 1 car for whole unit worse there's no car.... Morale still high, I think not Alan!!

Gardas burst there butts building cases against people then courts let then out morale still high I think not Alan !!!

Garda gets assault no protection for state with legislation... Morale still high I think not Alan

I will agree gardas are profession and do great job but morale is low whatever pr spin you can put on this won't wash at all...... Rant over

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17-04-2012, 11:02 PM
Post: #11
RE: Damien McCarthy "Ireland on brink of police crisis"
yes but offically a reserve is a garda member! so yes the numbers probably are that, but we have lost full time members and the forces numbers are being kept up by reserves.

Those who can, do.

Those who can't do, teach.

Those who can't do or teach....... Manage!
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17-04-2012, 11:22 PM (This post was last modified: 17-04-2012 11:23 PM by Courier1.)
Post: #12
RE: Damien McCarthy "Ireland on brink of police crisis"
(17-04-2012 11:02 PM)vidar Wrote:  yes but offically a reserve is a garda member! so yes the numbers probably are that, but we have lost full time members and the forces numbers are being kept up by reserves.

If that was the case should there not be more members, as the reserves are well over the 1000 mark now.

So if there where just under 14,400 at the end of 2010, there would have been at least 600 reserves in place that would have brought the force up to 15,000 members, i dont think so, reserves cant be taken into account as they are not always available for duty.

So if there is 13,650 and well over 1000+ reserves are you now saying that there are only 12,200 full time members approx, as that is the way i am reading your reply, this could not be right, and i would very much doubt the Minister would leave himself wide open to this, especially as the GRA was on his case, they defo would have lashed him with that one for sure.
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18-04-2012, 12:56 AM
Post: #13
RE: Damien McCarthy "Ireland on brink of police crisis"
A lot of reserves have left the job. So it should balance the number i believe. I am 100% in agreement that the reserve lads should not be counted in as they are not full time on duty

Those who can, do.

Those who can't do, teach.

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18-04-2012, 02:32 AM
Post: #14
RE: Damien McCarthy "Ireland on brink of police crisis"
(17-04-2012 10:52 PM)pogan Wrote:  Taken from todays Minister speech to the GRA conference.

Quote:There was criticism, too, for GRA president Damien McCarthy who was yesterday reported as saying the force had lost 2,000 members.

Numbers had stood at just under 14,400 at the end of 2010, and were about 13,650 today – “a reduction of just under 800 over the period of 15 months since then – not 2,000 as your President was reported as saying yesterday,” Shatter said.

Yes minister also said there was no morale problem in the gardas....you are serious? " conference laughs"

So your saying when member comes on duty get told there's 1 car for whole unit worse there's no car.... Morale still high, I think not Alan!!

Gardas burst there butts building cases against people then courts let then out morale still high I think not Alan !!!

Garda gets assault no protection for state with legislation... Morale still high I think not Alan

I will agree gardas are profession and do great job but morale is low whatever pr spin you can put on this won't wash at all...... Rant over
[/quote]

Well said.....
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18-04-2012, 05:30 PM
Post: #15
RE: Damien McCarthy "Ireland on brink of police crisis"
Shatter trying to create a rift between the defence forces and AGS

But Damien McCarthy is correct are we at war?

Yesterday, GRA President Damien McCarthy criticised the fact that the Defence Forces have been permitted to recruit 600 new members while there is a ban on garda recruitment.

Mr McCarthy asked the minister if the country was at war.

Today, Mr Shatter said the two forces are not and never have been in competition with each other.

Speaking at the Association of Garda Superintendents conference, he warned that such comment "should not be repeated."

"There is a very close relationship between the Garda Síochána and the Defence Forces. In the context of dealing with a number of issues, they work together, in the interests of the State and everyone who lives in the State.

"I would hope that similar remarks won't be repeated in the future." he added.

However, speaking on RTÉ's News at One, the GRA President denied that he had denigrated the Defence Forces in his speech.

"I raised a question: 'are we at war?', and yes we are, in the war on crime." Mr McCarthy said.

He said he and his colleagues have the highest respect for members of the Defence Forces.

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18-04-2012, 05:32 PM
Post: #16
RE: Damien McCarthy "Ireland on brink of police crisis"
(18-04-2012 05:30 PM)pogan Wrote:  Speaking at the Association of Garda Superintendents conference, he warned that such comment "should not be repeated."

When you warn someone you are suggesting that there will be a negative action by you against them.

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18-04-2012, 05:47 PM
Post: #17
RE: Damien McCarthy "Ireland on brink of police crisis"
(18-04-2012 05:32 PM)Administrator Wrote:  When you warn someone you are suggesting that there will be a negative action by you against them.

What action could they use against them?

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18-04-2012, 05:52 PM
Post: #18
RE: Damien McCarthy "Ireland on brink of police crisis"
thats what im asking

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18-04-2012, 05:58 PM
Post: #19
Damien McCarthy "Ireland on brink of police crisis"
He is going to take away all our toys

He who fights with monsters should look to it that he himself does not become a monster.
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18-04-2012, 06:01 PM (This post was last modified: 18-04-2012 06:01 PM by pogan.)
Post: #20
RE: Damien McCarthy "Ireland on brink of police crisis"
(18-04-2012 05:52 PM)Administrator Wrote:  thats what im asking

Sorry misread your comment admin,


http://www.rte.ie/news/2012/0418/opertio...html#audio

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