Garda Commissioner urges 'commitment' from force despite planned cutbacks
GARDA Commissioner Martin Callinan has warned mid-ranking officers against any actions which would endanger the force's standing in the community.
Against the backdrop of threatened opposition to proposed cutbacks, Mr Callinan told the Association of Garda Sergeants and Inspectors (Agsi) he was acutely aware of their financial burdens.
But he insisted they were not alone in their suffering, with every other organisation throughout the country - both public and private - needing to do more with fewer resources.
"This is the stark reality," he said.
Addressing the Agsi annual conference, Mr Callinan said the force had been faced with a cycle of ever decreasing budgets.
But the Garda chief said officers needed to accept there are difficult challenges to overcome.
Agsi has vowed to oppose plans to cut pay, reduce overtime and abolish some allowances under the Croke Park II deal forged between trade union leaders and the Government.
But Mr Callinan warned inspectors and sergeants against any action which would damage their relationship with the people the force serves.
"Our communities have now come to expect and rely upon the levels of both professionalism and dedication shown by you and the members you supervise," he said.
"We must retain that strong commitment to our communities and not embark on a road which would jeopardise that relationship."