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Sunday 31 August 2014

AGSI ‘disappointed’ Alan Shatter won’t attend annual conference

Brian O'Reilly

Published 14/04/2014 | 10:11

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THE GENERAL Secretary of the AGSI John Redmond has expressed his disappointment that the Justice Minister will not be attending the organisation’s annual conference.

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The Association of Garda Sergeants and Inspectors is holding its annual meeting in Killarney Co Kerry this week.

Traditionally the serving Minister for Justice speaks on the opening day of the conference.

“Our delegates and ourselves are very disappointed that it can’t happen today”, he told Newstalk Breakfast.

He explained the Department of Justice have contacted the group to explain he couldn’t attend.

“The department has given us the reasons he can’t attend. We can’t do anything but accept those reasons in good faith. I can’t get in to controversy and suggest there’s something else”, he said.

Acting Commissioner Noirin O’Sullivan will attend the conference tomorrow and take questions from the floor.

Although he refused to endorse Ms O’Sullivan to take over the role full time, he did say she was ‘making all the right noises’ during her tenure as acting commissioner.

When asked whether the group had confidence in the Justice Minister, he said: “We.... ehm.... We can’t get involved in politics per say. We want a Minister who will listen to our views, who will provide a service for the public.”

He added that the gardai in Ireland had an envious confidence rate internationally – with over 70pc support.

“I’m not saying everything is hunky dorey and there aren’t corners that might need a light shone in them.

He described Whistleblowers John Wilson and Maurice McCabe as brave, committed and strong.

“If someone has a legitimate concern about the running of any organisation that person should be able to stand tall and make their complaint.

“The person should be allowed and feel confident to make those points and have them listened to.”

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