Force bristles and demands right to beards
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.