Article on garda roster misleading
Sir -- Jim Cusack's article on policing (Sunday Independent, January 8, 2011), was misleading. The first sentence made a ridiculous, sensationalist assertion that 'could see gardai receive 174 days annual leave'. There was no mention that gardai are required to work weekends, bank and public holidays. Weekends and public holidays account for 113 days each year -- but are not viewed as annual leave by anyone -- except perhaps Mr Cusack?
Mr Cusack failed to acknowledge that the length of garda shifts will increase from eight to 10 hours in many cases, and some standard weeks will see some gardai working 60 hours for their basic salary. This core omission seriously skews the reality, leaving the reader with the (false) perception that members of the force are having their working hours reduced.
While everyone else in our community sleeps or enjoys Christmas dinner, the country's frontline public servants remain on duty. This went unacknowledged in the article.