GARDA Inspector Walter Kilcullen has been doing shift work for all his 41 years of service. Now after decades of loyalty, he simply feels let down.
"It's so disappointing. I've given my whole career to the organisation . . . now I can't afford the things I took for granted, the basic things.
"Going for our shopping, you just get the essential things. You hate to see the Visa bill coming," he explained.
The father-of-six attended the rally last night with his daughter Emma, who has special needs.
"I'm paying university registration fees and everything else. It's not easy and having a child with special needs, she's great, but she has to be minded all the time. It's difficult to get respite care," he added. A member of the national executive of the Association of Garda Sergeants and Inspectors, he said they decided to pull out of the Croke Park extension talks because it was a one-way process.
"We took the decision on January 20 to unanimously walk out of the talks . . . that was the same night Adrian Donohoe was shot dead.
"My child asks me 'Daddy, are you coming home?'. Over the last 40 years, I've seen a lot of good friends who didn't come home," he said.
He said attempts to cut garda allowances was unjust.
"These allowances are such a part of my pay, up to 37pc of my take-home pay could be made up of allowances."
He now has just over one year left in the force before facing compulsory retirement at the age of 60.