McGrath Criticises Garda Commissioner On Proposal To Reintroduce Pre-Covid Roster


The leader of the Rural Independent Group of TDs, Mattie McGrath, is strongly criticising Garda Commissioner Drew Harris for proposing the reintroduction of pre-Covid roster arrangements for Garda members. This move would require rank and file Gardaí to work an extra 25 days per year. Deputy McGrath is of the view that this approach merely serves as a “sticking plaster” and fails to address the ongoing Garda recruitment and retention crisis.

The TD is highlighting that in March 2020, there were 14,750 Gardaí in the country. The figure is now down to 13,927. Garda recruitment campaigns in the last two years have attracted thousands of applicants but the selected personnel fail to attend for basic training in Templemore Garda College. 84 new Garda are due to graduate in August – it had been intended that this would be 200 new members for the police force. Deputy McGrath is concerned about falling Garda numbers in light of an ever increasing population

Under the proposed changes, Gardaí would transition from their current 12-hour shifts for four days followed by four days off, to working 10-hour shifts for six consecutive days with four days off. Talks between the Garda Commissioner and the Garda Representative Association have failed to reach agreement on a new roster structure.