Friday 24 November 2017

Force bristles and demands right to beards

Tánaiste and Justice Minister Frances Fitzgerald addresses the GRA conference. Photo: Conor Ó Mearáin
Tánaiste and Justice Minister Frances Fitzgerald addresses the GRA conference. Photo: Conor Ó Mearáin
Tom Brady

Tom Brady

Gardaí have officially called for a change in the organisation's rules to allow them to have beards.

Delegates at the annual conference of the Garda Representative Association in Galway yesterday backed a motion to alter the regulations. All except one voted in favour.

Sligo-Leitrim delegate Jack Kelleher said it was a human right. "Beards can reduce skin cancer and help reduce asthma and allergies. They help you keep young looking."

Garda Commissioner Nóirín O'Sullivan appeared to dismiss any prospect of a change in the short term, saying there were issues that were more important.

The association previously bristled over the issue in 2001 when Garda John Wilson, now retired and formerly a key figure in the whistleblower controversy alongside Sgt Maurice McCabe, was confined to indoor duties because he grew a beard.

Commissioner Nóirín O’Sullivan said there were more important issues than bearded gardaí. Photo: Conor Ó Mearáin
Commissioner Nóirín O’Sullivan said there were more important issues than bearded gardaí. Photo: Conor Ó Mearáin

Irish Independent

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