Thursday 24 August 2017

'Martial law was never contemplated' - Enda Kenny

Members of the Garda Emergency Response Unit pictured at a warehouse at Drogheda Port during a two part excercise.
Members of the Garda Emergency Response Unit pictured at a warehouse at Drogheda Port during a two part excercise.
Cormac McQuinn

Cormac McQuinn

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

Both garda representative associations have deferred their threatened industrial action as they consider Labour Court recommendations aimed at resolving the dispute over pay.

Mr Kenny was asked if martial law had been considered in the event of a strike going ahead.

He said contingency arrangements are a matter for the Garda Commissioner Nóirín O'Sullivan.

But he added: "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 that he's glad that the garda strikes have been deferred.

"The government fully respect the Labour Court and the government will obviously reflect on its findings.

"I'd make the point to you that the recommendations of the report are now going to be put to ballot to the members of the GRA and the members of the AGSI and I think they deserve the time and space to reflect on that ballot when it comes before them," Mr Kenny said.

Mr Kenny was asked if he was concerned that other public sector workers would be emboldened to make demands on the back of the offer to Gardaí.

"Obviously the Minister for Public Expenditure does not have an endless pot of money. Lansdowne Road is the Agreement that's there," he said.

Put to him that one union representative has already said the Lansdowne Road deal no longer viable, Mr Kenny repeated:

"Lansdowne Road is the agreement that we have and that's the agreement that's being implemented. As I said the minister for public expenditure does not have an endless pot of money."

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