The decision by both representative organisations within An Garda Siochána to strike next month is not one that Fianna Fáil supports or agrees with however it does show that there is a huge feeling of demoralisation and anger within the force. The decision to undertake strike action which was made on Monday 17th October came as a result of a ‘four year failed negotiation process’.
The extent of the strike cannot be underestimated as it is forecasted that 10,500 rank-and-file Gardaí will take part as will an estimated 2,000 sergeants and inspectors. The strike will take place for 24hours from 7am on the four Friday’s of November.
‘This is the first time in the history of the AGSI that such a decision has been made. It clearly illustrates the anger and frustration felt by gardaí on the ground. From talking to members of the force, I have never seen morale as low as it is now. That is a sad indictment on the Government and the previous Government, which have allowed this to develop into a crisis. No garda wants to go on strike and nobody in this room or anywhere in the State wants to see a member of the Garda going on strike’ said Senator Gallagher when addressing Seanad Éireann on 18th October 2016.
There are many underlying issues that need to be addressed in order to guarantee a certain level of satisfaction by all parties however the immediate solution needs to lie in preventing further strike action.