Tuesday 25 July 2017

Gardaí warned not to roll up sleeves - but they can ditch ties for summer

Garda Commissioner Noirin O'Sullivan. Photo: Gerry Mooney.
Garda Commissioner Noirin O'Sullivan. Photo: Gerry Mooney.

Robin Schiller

Uniformed gardaí will today be able to ditch their ties for three months after an analysis of their attire - but under no circumstances are they to roll up their sleeves.

A memo issued by Deputy Garda Commissioner John Twomey this week stated the "garda tie will not be worn by uniformed personnel".

Strict rules will also be applied to the dress code, which include shirt sleeves being rolled down and only a top button being opened.

It comes as work has commenced on a review of the Garda uniform, and following lengthy analysis and public feedback, it has been decided to temporarily remove the tie.

This trial period begins today and is effective until August 31.

"During this period uniformed personnel will wear short-sleeved shirts (with only the top shirt button open) accompanied at all times by the official garda t-shirt," the memo, marked confidential, states.

"Standard dress will as heretofore, be monitored and maintained by all supervisors in the course of parading duty, however compliance with this instruction will be self-regulating in conjunction with the wearing of garda caps on duty," it adds.

This memo was circulated to the garda unions, including the Association of Garda Sergeants and Inspectors and the Garda Representative Association.

Following this trial period feedback will be sought from gardaí and members of the public through a Public Attitude Survey.

"In, exceptional, circumstances where a long-sleeved shirt is worn the sleeves will not, under any circumstances, be rolled or turned up," it reads.

However, exceptions will be made when gardaí attend court or a Joint Policing Committee.

High-visibility covers for the official garda vest are also being sourced and are expected to be distributed in due course.

Despite a memo being sanctioned about the garda tie, no adequate ballistic vests have yet been sanctioned for unarmed officers attempting to keep a lid on the Hutch/Kinahan feud.

It previously emerged that uniformed gardaí manning protection posts and checkpoints in the north-inner city had requested bullet-proof vests and firearms training.

These posts - set up to prevent attacks as part of the ongoing gangland feud - are manned by unarmed gardaí, with no armed presence on a permanent basis.

Gardaí had expressed safety concerns with management about leaving uniformed units to man these posts.

However, it is understood that no bullet-proof vests or firearms training have yet been sanctioned for these members.

Irish Independent

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