Gangsters offer gardai €30,000 for uniforms
Ireland's most notorious criminals are now offering up to €30,000 to garda members for their official uniforms, so they can be used in robberies and assassination attempts of gangland rivals, the Sunday Independent can reveal.
Senior sources within An Garda Siochana have confirmed that they are aware that some of Ireland's most vicious criminal gangs, -- including the Dundon-McCarthy group and several of the leading gangs in Dublin -- have sought to exploit the discontent in the Force over recent pay cuts by offering cash lump sums in exchange for uniforms.
It is known that new young gardai in Dublin and in other cities like Limerick, Cork and Galway have been approached in recent weeks by gang members, who have informed them of their cash offers ranging between €10,000 and €30,000 for full uniforms.
This attempt to acquire genuine uniforms is seen as a serious development by senior garda management, who fear the stolen clothing could be used in major robberies or even assassination attempts.
The Garda Press Office said that garda uniforms were State property and any sale of them represents theft and is a clear breach of the Garda Code and carries a severe penalty for doing so.
A spokeswoman for the Garda Press Office said: "Any wrongful removal or use of a garda uniform is a direct contravention of the Garda Code, and there are strict penalties involved for those caught."
"We are aware of the unhappiness over pay among the rank-and-file, but any co-operation with these gangs is a most serious offence. I have heard about these offers of money for uniforms," one senior garda said yesterday.
Only last month at the annual Garda Representative Association (GRA) conference, during intense talks over the public sector pay cuts, delegates discussed a motion concerning the security of members' uniforms.
The Cork City branch of the GRA proposed the introduction of legislation preventing other workers, such as security staff, from mimicking garda uniforms, equipment and transport.