A row over training and equipment for Cork detectives is close to reaching resolution according to the Garda Representative Association (GRA).
Negotiations have been taking place between the GRA and Garda management in relation to the demands of the Cork force.
The GRA had notified Garda management that 24/7 armed cover would no longer be provided from July 1, however thanks to positive negotiations, this action may be withdrawn.
Senior GRA member Mick Corcoran said there is a broad agreement at the moment but a few finer details need to be nailed down.
“There is light at the end of the tunnel,” Mr Corcoran said, “However at present, the agreement has not been accepted by all of the detectives involved.
Mr Corcoran also said that the Association is cautious regarding the promises of Garda management due to previous experience.
“These negotiations come with a health warning. We have been in this situation before, we were promised full training and then it was pulled after just 25 of our 80 detectives were trained.
“There is nothing final until everything is sorted, but we are hopeful. We are heading in the right direction.” Mr Corcoran said the Cork detectives wanted the equipment to be supplied up front and also assurances that training would be provided for everyone involved.
The GRA representative also said that the detectives were looking for taser training.
“In order to supply full backup, we need to have access to non-legal forms of restraint.” According to the GRA, the desire for training and equipment is not emanating from international events, “but it is connected.” “In order to be able to supply back-up needed in any situation, we need better equipment and proper access to tactics.
“It is not just the type of weapon needed to be able to diffuse a situation, we need to be able to use tactics to good effect too.” Proper resourcing is another issue that the GRA has raised with Garda management.
Mr Corcoran said that often they don’t have the numbers for an operation. “It is not just training we need, manpower is also an issue.
“There is a need for forward planning and additional budget for overtime to deal with the resources issue.” TD Billy Kelleher said he would welcome a resolution to the situation.
“I hope the Gardaí management accept their obligation to have the force fully trained and equipped to carry out their job in sometimes dangerous circumstances.”