Murphy warns his officers about political attacks
RANK-and-file garda leaders were handed a yellow card by their commissioner yesterday over their political attack on the Government and the Fianna Fail party.
Commissioner Fachtna Murphy summoned the representative leaders to an emergency meeting in his office as a result of the controversial remarks.
During the one-hour meeting at garda headquarters, he told the new president of the Garda Representative Association (GRA), Damien McCarthy and its general secretary, PJ Stone, that their venture into the political arena would not be tolerated.
And he made it clear to them that a repeat of the controversy surrounding their annual conference in Limerick, earlier in the week, would result in a red card.
Mr Murphy, who was accompanied by the assistant commissioner in charge of human resources, Fintan Fanning, reminded the two men that they were subject to garda rules and regulations.
He reiterated remarks he made at their conference that An Garda Siochana had been set up as an independent organisation and must not become involved in politics. And he warned them that what had taken place in Limerick could not happen again.
Mr Murphy said the gardai should be proud to serve their country in the same way that generations had done since the foundation of the force.
An official spokesman said after the meeting that the commissioner looked forward to a constructive relationship with the association. Nobody was available for comment among the rank-and-file leaders.
Justice Minister Dermot Ahern has already demanded that the association apologise to the Irish people for the "disrespect" they displayed to the State's institutions this week.
He said he had not sought disciplinary action against the outgoing president, Michael O'Boyce, who had made the controversial comments, as it was his last day in office.