A Garda union is calling for a more transparent policy around what it has described as “anonymous complaints and false allegations”.
The Association of Garda Superintendents (AGS) commissioned an independent survey of 220 superindependents and chief superintendents recently, and it found that almost half (48pc) felt “false allegations causing reputational damage” had been made against them.
Meanwhile, 33pc claimed they have been defamed on social media.
The union will hold its annual conference in Kildare today, where it will highlight its concerns to the Justice Minister Helen McEntee.
AGS spokesperson Supt Declan McCarthy said: “It isn’t just about high-profile police and events, this is on day-to-day investigations and everyday business.
"Forty-eight percent of us felt that false allegations causing reputational damage had been made against us and 33pc of us felt that we had been defamed on social media.”
Supt McCarthy said their ask is for a “robust and transparent policy” to be brought in for the “anonymous complaints and false allegations”.
"It would be a matter of a welfare and a safety issue for us and our organisation’s mission statement is about keeping people safe and we would like the same courtesy paid to us, that we as senior operators in the organisation are kept safe,” he told RTÉ’s Morning Ireland.
Supt McCarthy said they are also concerned about false allegations being treated under the Protected Disclosures Protocol and they have an “issue with allowances” which he explained were “cut by 25pc” in 2009 and have not been restored despite assurances.
An additional 1,000 gardaí was announced in the 2023 budget.
Supt McCarthy said while his union welcomes the move, more needs to be done to future proof An Garda Síochána.
"Unfortunately, we're constantly only retrofitting and backfilling rather than future proofing the numbers within the organisation and recruitment has to be constant and fast paced,” he said.
"The extraction rates from the operational coalface if you like, which is what the public see out there, the men and women sitting in patrol cars and walking on the beats.
"This is what the public sees, but the extraction rates from them into the more modern policing, things like the Divisional Protective Services Units, the armed support, all of this extraction comes from that coalface.”
He added: "And unfortunately, the public facing policing gets affected by that. And even with the recruitment of 1,000 we're trying to get to 15,000, we're struggling to get there and if we do get to 15,000, we would be anxious that that number is maintained constantly going forward.”