Sunday 23 July 2017

Kenny: 'Martial law was never contemplated' in contingency planning

Enda Kenny said having Army on the streets was not an option Photo: Steve Humphreys
Enda Kenny said having Army on the streets was not an option Photo: Steve Humphreys

Cormac McQuinn and Paul Williams

Taoiseach Enda Kenny has insisted martial law was never considered as part of contingency planning for a Garda strike.

Mr Kenny was responding to claims that the prospect of martial law was raised by Garda management in talks with officials from the Garda Representative Association (GRA).

The GRA delegation met with Assistant Commissioner Eugene Corcoran on Thursday morning to discuss contingencies in the event of the strike going ahead.

It is claimed that Mr Corcoran told the meeting that the security of the State and lives would be at risk if the industrial action proceeded.

The meeting between Mr Corcoran resulted in the GRA's announcement that it would allow members in 18 garda units to show up for work.

Sources also alleged that the meeting was told martial law may be have to be declared by Tánaiste and Justice Minister Frances Fitzgerald.

However, Mr Corcoran denied this, telling the Irish Independent: "There was no requirement at this time or at any stage to request the assistance of the Army."

Mr Kenny, meanwhile, insisted that martial law was not considered by the Government.

He said he had met Garda Commissioner Nóirín O'Sullivan, other senior garda management and Ms Fitzgerald on Monday and that contingency plans were Ms O'Sullivan's responsibility.

"Let me assure you and confirm to you that the question of martial law - ie the Army being on the streets of this country - was never contemplated and never raised," he said.

A spokeswoman for the GRA said: "The GRA are not commenting on the content of the discussions."

Irish Independent

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