Garda strike a breach of oath to uphold law
Published 02/11/2016 | 02:30
At no time since their inception in 1923 have gardaí done other than protect and serve this State with honour. Some 88 members of the force have literally laid down their lives in the line of service. That tradition of selfless sacrifice has set a standard that is the envy of countries across the world. To think that an unarmed police force was formed from the ashes of the Civil War, and that same unarmed police force saw off the grave threat to this State through the bloodiest decades of the Troubles, is rightly a source of national pride.
When they join the force, gardaí swear an oath to uphold the Constitution and the law. Breaking the law to go on strike breaches that oath - and the trust of the public.
Given such a context, gardaí should think long and hard about taking the irrevocable step of breaking the law and going on strike on Friday. Whatever the frustrations and grievances they feel, putting the security of the State in danger by walking off the streets is fraught with alarming consequences. The Government may be criticised for failing to adequately address the issue of representation for the force with the urgency it merited. But the Government has risked breaching the Lansdowne Road Agreement by putting €30m more in the pot to settle their pay claim.