Senator Robbie Gallagher

Minister must "bang a few heads together" over garda issue - Gallagher

Senator Robbie Gallagher has urged the Minister for Justice Helen McEntee to take control of the situation after the no confidence vote by rank and file gardaí.

Senator Gallagher made his comments in the aftermath of the Garda Representative Association's overwhelming vote of no confidence in Garda Commissioner Drew Harris. Of the 9,129 members who voted, 98.7% voted no confidence last week.

Senator Gallagher said that the vote is "unprecedented" in the 100 year history of An Garda Siochana and added that it's "a very worrying and serious development".

“Clearly issues need to be ironed out so that members of the Force can move on,” he said. "I think the next move here is that Minister Helen McEntee needs to get control of the situation. She needs to get all the relevant stakeholders around the table and bang a few heads together. Ultimately, that's what is going to happen at the end of the day. Members of An Garda Síochána need to have confidence that Drew Harris is on their side," said Senator Robbie Gallagher, who is the Justice spokesperson for Fianna Fail.

“Management needs to be doing more and listening to the 12,000 rank and file members of Gardaí who are on the streets every day of every week. In all disputes, people have to sit down, negotiate and try to find a pathway to a solution.

"Apparently meetings are happening between Drew Harris and the Garda Associations this week, so I think that is a positive first step. Drew Harris is the man with the top job, and part of that job is bringing the people with you.

"The challenge that Drew Harris has at the moment is giving rank and file members of the Gardaí confidence that he is on their side and that he will find a solution that's agreeable to both sides. That's what management is all about."