Dan O'Brien: Facts about how much gardaí are really paid must be central in talks
Industrial disputes are always fraught affairs. They are almost always very complicated. The factors, issues and dynamics between a group of workers and their employers are difficult to understand fully for anyone who is not involved. Because of all this, commenting on workplace conflicts carries a high risk of being unfair to one side or the other. As such, and as a general principle, I avoid writing about individual industrial disputes.
But sometimes exceptions have to be made. What looms tomorrow is exceptional.
If the threatened withdrawal of almost all policing services by the 13,000-strong An Garda Síochána goes ahead it will have an impact on all of the country's 4.8 million people. For those who are victims of serious crime on that day, it could have a life-changing impact. In extreme cases, it could have a life-ending effect.