AGSI leader: We will support senior garda who it is claimed had a part-time security job
THE leader of the association representing 2,200 garda supervisors has said it will support its member at the centre of allegations of being involved in security consultancy work, contrary to the force's regulations.
Association of Garda Sergeants and Inspectors general secretary John Jacob said any member facing an investigation into allegations in the past had been given its backing and he expected that would also happen on this occasion.
Two high ranking members of the association have opted to stay away from its annual conference, which began in Ballyconnell, Co Cavan this afternoon, because they were not satisfied at the way the allegations were being handled.
Vice president Paul Wallace and deputy general secretary Antoinette Cunningham both decided not to attend the three-day event as a rift within the leadership widened following the controversy becoming a public issue at the weekend.
The issue totally dominated a four-hour meeting of the association's national executive on Sunday evening where most members agreed that the conference should be held, as planned.
Mr Jacob said this afternoon that he did not agree that the controversy had cast a cloud or a shadow over the conference.
He said he was not sure that it had been clearly articulated by those, who had stayed away, whether their absence was related to that specific issue and he was not able to speak on their behalf.
But there were 140 delegates attending to listen to the debates and outside presentations.
"The delegates that have spoken to me are not concerned about those allegations and they want to get on with the agenda", Mr Jacob added.
"The person at the centre of the allegations should be entitled to the anonymity that is given to anybody else facing other allegations.
"Due process should be allowed to take its course and Garda management allowed to investigate these allegations", he said.
"In the past the association has supported any of its members facing allegations and that will happen on this occasion, too".
Justice Minister Charlie Flanagan is due to address the conference this evening.