Full examination of Garda needed
The Garda Siochana must never go on strike. That is a sine qua non. We are fortunate in his country that we still have a largely unarmed police force that commands the respect and confidence of the majority of the people despite everything that has happened in recent years.
The Garda Siochana is an essential pillar of our civilised democracy and the fear and panic engendered in many citizens last week at the thought that we would not have that force at our disposal, even for a day, is indicative of this.
That said, we have to acknowledge that our police force is far from perfect and the question of pay and conditions is just one of the glaring deficiencies that need to be urgently addressed. Minister for Justice Frances Fitzgerald did well to avert the crisis and the move to extend some form of industrial relations mechanism to the gardai by the Government is welcome.