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Friday 9 December 2016

GRA set for showdown with furious members

Niall O'Connor and Robin Schiller

Published 07/11/2016 | 02:30

(L to R) Members of the Garda Representative Association (GRA) Ciaran O'Neill and President Pat Ennis General Secretary during a press conference by the GRA at GRA Headquarters, Phibsboro Dublin. Photo: Gareth Chaney Collins
(L to R) Members of the Garda Representative Association (GRA) Ciaran O'Neill and President Pat Ennis General Secretary during a press conference by the GRA at GRA Headquarters, Phibsboro Dublin. Photo: Gareth Chaney Collins

Executive members of the Garda Representative Association (GRA) will today air their grievances over the way last week's pay deal was struck.

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GRA sources said they are furious with the officer board that negotiated the package which resulted in Friday's planned strike action being averted.

Central to the disquiet is the decision to consent to a derogation that involved 18 specialist units being deployed in the event of the action taking place.

The decision was taken by the officer board of the body - headed by president Ciarán O'Neill and general secretary Pat Ennis - without the consent of the wider executive.

The officer board now faces a vote of no confidence, which could be tabled as early as today at a meeting at the GRA Headquarters in Phibsboro.

Members of the executive are expected to demand to know whether Garda management warned of the enforcement of marshal law in the event of gardaí going on strike.

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Also on the agenda is the balloting of members in relation to the Labour Court proposals.

The ballot is expected to take at least two weeks to complete - meaning the remaining days of planned industrial action (November 11, 18 and 25) look set to be deferred.

In relation to the ballot itself, well-placed sources within the union said it could easily be defeated.

Such a scenario could potentially result in gardaí once again threatening a withdrawal of service.

"The prospect of unrest is far from over," said one executive source last night.

A second source the officer board's decision to agree to the derogation on Thursday caused the GRA to lose "all the weight we had built up in recent weeks behind this industrial action".

Irish Independent

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