Monday 23 October 2017

The Harcourt Street detective who is fronting the wage dispute

GRA president Detective Ciaran O'Neill has been a garda for 24 years Photo: James Flynn/APX
GRA president Detective Ciaran O'Neill has been a garda for 24 years Photo: James Flynn/APX

Harcourt Street detective Ciaran O'Neill is one of the chief figures in the garda dispute with the Government.

Mr O'Neill (46), a garda for 24 years, has been stationed in Kevin Street in Dublin, Hackballscross in Dundalk, and Coolock and Santry in Dublin.

From his role in Santry, he was seconded onto the National Bureau of Criminal Investigation and is now attached to the elite Special Detective Unit in Harcourt Square.

He has been involved in a number of high-profile investigations. They include a case in which a council worker was ordered to carry out community service for sending former Justice Minister Alan Shatter a series of anti-Semitic emails.

He was also involved in the conviction of Adam Busby, who was sentenced to four years in jail in 2010 for threats sent by email to BAA at London Heathrow Airport, claiming bombs were on two New York flights.

Mr O'Neill became president of the Garda Representative Association last April and will serve for two years.

Previously, he held the role of vice president and was involved in preparing a submission on modernising the garda uniform and recruiting new members to the association.

He was a member of a team that helped increase the recruitment rate from 30pc to 90pc.

On his election flier, he is described as "dependable, realistic, dedicated, direct and experienced" and he says strong leadership is required to guide the association through "the arduous times ahead".

Speaking at the association's conference in April, he said the recent spate of gangland murders underlined the need to strengthen armed resources in the force as gardaí were expected to deal with armed incidents equipped with only batons, pepper spray and stab-proof vests.

Irish Independent

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