Garda Conference Gets Underway

Photo © Pat Flynn

The Garda Representative Association begins its annual conference in Galway this morning.

Among the motions for discussion over the next two days are firearms training, public order units, and the rules on Gardai wearing beards.

The GRA has already indicated that taking politics out of policing will be high on their agenda this week.


Association President Ciaran O’Neill has already said he hopes the policing authority will step up to the task – adding that separating the force from direct political control is long overdue.

The association, which represents over 10,500 rank-and-file Gardaí – is also looking for an audit on the number and nature of assaults on members of the force. This comes amid attacks on half a dozen male and female Gardai, in both Dublin and Mayo in recent weeks.

The conference is expected to call for mandatory sentences for assaults on all emergency personnel, additional public order units to be deployed across the country – new measures to tackle gang related crime and a speeding up of Garda Ombudsman inquiries.

It will also discuss an update to the uniform, and the removal of the ban on Gardaí wearing beards.