Officers 'won't lose their jobs over debts'
GARDA Commissioner Fachtna Murphy yesterday promised cash-strapped members of his force that they do not face the sack from their jobs if they are in arrears in their mortgage payments, writes Tom Brady.
He said suggestions by Garda Representative Association leaders that gardai could be dismissed over mortgage debts were "laughable".
His remarks followed a call for a change in the regulations in the Garda Code to remove the threat to those in arrears. Mr Murphy said the regulation had been drafted decades ago.
"This was drawn up to deal with those who might wilfully build up huge financial debts, not people struggling to meet their mortgage payments," he added.
He also explained that there were reasons why certain spare-time jobs were prohibited for gardai in the disciplinary code.
The association had demanded the lifting of the ban on certain "nixers".
However, association general secretary PJ Stone acknowledged that some jobs might be "taboo" for gardai, but said there should be no problem with gardai working in their off-duty hours as taxi drivers.
The code prevents gardai working in the security industry or as bouncers or barmen.
The commissioner was also highly critical of remarks by the association leadership that gardai were now vulnerable to corruption because of the cuts in their pay and allowances.
"It is my view that such rhetoric does a grave disservice to the honest, hardworking men and women who are members of An Garda Siochana," he said.