herald

Saturday 21 April 2018

'We'll walk out over right to strike', gardai warn minister

Justice Minister Charlie Flanagan (centre) is led into AGSI conference by general secretary John Jacob and president Antoinette Cunningham
Justice Minister Charlie Flanagan (centre) is led into AGSI conference by general secretary John Jacob and president Antoinette Cunningham

Gardai have warned Justice Minister Charlie Flanagan they will strike over the refusal to allow officers the right to use work stoppages during industrial disputes.

The Association of Garda Sergeants and Inspectors (AGSI), which represents more than 2,000 mid-ranking officers, warned it is considering industrial action over the Government's refusal to grant it the right to strike.

The association's president, Sergeant Antoinette Cunningham, said the AGSI has put Mr Flanagan on formal notice in relation to the growing discontent.

"We would look forward to having discussions with the Minister for Justice around the strike issue. As you know, there was a ruling four years ago that recommended that guards should have the right to strike," Sgt Cunningham said.

Mr Flanagan said he is working on removing any need for gardai to take industrial action, which he said would "jeopardise the security of the State".

Meanwhile, the minister warned the gangland criminals orchestrating the deadly Hutch/Kinahan feud from abroad that they cannot hide.

War

The ongoing war, which has claimed at least 15 lives, has seen murders both in Ireland and abroad, as well as an alleged murder attempt in Turkey last week.

Senior criminals involved in the feud, including gang boss Daniel Kinahan and a number of the cartel's main associates, have fled abroad in recent months due to the intense garda pressure on them.

Mr Flanagan issued a warning to the fleeing mobsters, saying that they will be brought to justice wherever they are.

"My message to Irish criminals overseas is the same as my message to Irish criminals within the jurisdiction - there is no hiding place," he said.

Cartel boss Daniel Kinahan
Cartel boss Daniel Kinahan

"I want to acknowledge the importance of our international relations, members of An Garda Siochana working with Interpol, working with our EU colleagues, with the importance of the European Arrest Warrant and I will ensure that every effort is made in terms of criminal activity overseas, that these people will be brought to justice in the same way and with the same speed as if they were within our own jurisdiction."

He was speaking at the 40th annual AGSI conference in Carlow yesterday.

Mr Flanagan also revealed that Operation Hybrid, a response to the feud, has led to more than 70 arrests and 37 firearms being seized.

Promoted articles

Entertainment News