Revealed: placards the rank and file will be carrying
Rank-and-file gardaí have begun printing up thousands of placards which are to be used in their impending industrial action due to take place on November 4, the Irish Independent can reveal.
In what sources say is a clear illustration of their determination to strike for better pay and conditions the Garda Representative Association have designed a series of posters which are reproduced here for the first time.
A series of five individually designed placards, each containing a separate slogan, have been sent to the printers in recent days.
The slogans include: 'Gardaí Denied Their Civil Rights'; 'Pay Gardaí A Fair Wage' and 'Europe Says Yes To Trade Union Status', which refers to a Council of Europe ruling that Ireland is breaching international law by preventing the gardaí receiving union status.
Another placard underlines the unprecedented nature of the planned action stating: 'Gardaí On The Streets But Not Like This'.
And another demands 'Give Gardaí A Fair Hearing' which refers to the fact that the representative associations do not have access to the Labour Relations Commission.
In an ironic twist, the first day of the proposed unprecedented action by the country's gardaí, sergeants and inspectors will coincide with the 55th anniversary of the so-called 'Macushla Revolt' which took place on November 4, 1961.
Described as a milestone in the history of the force, more than 800 gardaí met at the Macushla Ballroom on Amiens Street in Dublin in defiance of the commissioner of the day who had banned any public meetings over pay and conditions.
The justice minister at the time, Charles Haughey, was infuriated by the garda action and 11 of the ringleaders were later dismissed but were promptly reinstated as a result of an outcry by members.