Thursday 21 June 2018

Gardaí are being short-changed - but public sector pay hikes would be irresponsible

AGSI president Antoinette Cunningham has been one of the central figures in the Garda
dispute over pay. Photo: Steve Humphreys
AGSI president Antoinette Cunningham has been one of the central figures in the Garda dispute over pay. Photo: Steve Humphreys
Martina Devlin

Martina Devlin

It was 6pm and I was posting a birthday card in the GPO letterbox in Dublin's O'Connell Street, when an altercation between a guard and a mother caught my attention. Only one of the parties to this dispute was screaming about people minding their own business, using foul language and causing a scene. Clue: it wasn't the guard.

The young woman was off her head on drink, drugs or both, with a distressed child of six or so standing beside her. Her condition meant she was incapable of ensuring that little boy's safety, which I understood to be the reason for the guard's intervention. Her expletive-ridden, highly personalised attack in response was off the Richter scale.

Despite the provocation, the guard remained calm and courteous - from what I could see, the child's wellbeing was his primary concern.

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