Garda association chief steps down over article
The president of the Association of Garda Sergeants and Inspectors has resigned from his post as a result of a Sunday newspaper article.
Willie Gleeson has also stepped down as chairman of the association's national executive.
The Cork-based sergeant and the association's general secretary John Redmond are both taking legal action against the 'Irish Mail on Sunday'.
Last month, the association's leadership was due to meet Garda Commissioner Martin Callinan for talks about the proposed campaign of action over the Government's plans to cut their members' allowances.
But the meeting was postponed at the request of the association.
It later emerged that both Mr Gleeson and Mr Redmond were out of the country and could not attend the meeting. The two were subsequently unhappy at the way that their absence was reported.
A statement by Mr Redmond to his branch secretaries confirmed that Mr Gleeson was stepping down from the two positions with effect from Thursday last.
It added: "Willie cited the article about him in the 'Irish Mail on Sunday', dated February 24, as the reason for his resignation.
"Despite the executive's best efforts, Willie could not be persuaded to remain on in his role as president. We respect Willie's decision," the statement concluded.
Last Monday, the association stated that Mr Gleeson and Mr Redmond had issued, through their legal representatives, a demand for an apology and full retraction from the 'Irish Mail on Sunday'.
It said the two men promised further action from Wednesday if the matter was not resolved to their satisfaction by then. It added that the two men continued to receive the full confidence and support of the national executive.
Mr Gleeson's term of office as president was due to end at the association's annual conference in Sligo on Monday fortnight. But he had been tipped for re-election.
Meanwhile, members of the association and the Garda Representative Association will continue their campaign of action and will not volunteer for duty inside the grounds at a number of sporting events, including the Ireland v France rugby game today at the Aviva stadium.