Sunday 18 August 2019

Gardaí clarify 'overtime ban' only remains in place until Sunday

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Shane Phelan and Kevin Doyle

Gardaí have clarified that a ban on overtime notified to officers yesterday will only remain in place until Sunday night and not the end of the year.

A communication to chief superintendents in the Dublin area yesterday said overtime was being cancelled as the Garda for 2017 had been exhausted.

However, in a statement today the force said that its budget for 2018 will start next Monday, December 4.

"From that day overtime will then be available to regional, division and district officers for policing delivery within the overtime budget allocated to them," a Garda statement said.

"All officers will be reminded of the clear need for them to stay within allocated budgets."

The statement said policing services will continue as normal in organised crime operations, Operation Thor, the nationwide anti-burglary initiative, as well as routine road safety initiatives.

Earlier, Taoiseach Leo Varadkar insisted that funding for Garda overtime in the run up to Christmas was never in question.

Mr Varadkar has questioned why an Assistant Commissioner raised the prospect of cancelling overtime next month.

The Taoiseach has told the Dáil that any funding for overtime in December would be taken out of the 2018 budget as wages are not paid until the new year.

“I would have hoped garda management would have been aware of that,” he said.

His comments followed a statement from Dublin’s most senior officer, Assistant Commissioner Pat Leahy, who informed all chief superintendents in the Dublin Metropolitan Region that overtime would be cancelled until the end of the year.

The Dáil is due to approve an extra €42m for overtime tomorrow – but this money will largely be used to pay for work carried out by officers in November.

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