01 April 2006

Garda Reserve to go ahead, despite opposition


01/04/2006 - 09:02:55

Garda Commissioner Noel Conroy has declared that the Garda Reserve will go ahead, despite strong opposition from Garda representative bodies.

Commissioner Conroy, in his first public comment on the issue, said he was in favour of any measures that would enhance policing, and he believed the reserve force to be one such measure.

"The legislators have legislated. We must comply with the legislation. The elected politicians have made a decision that the reserve will be recruited and that's what is going to happen. Anything that improves the service to the community, I'm all for it, and I feel this will improve the service."

Minister for Justice Michael McDowell said gardaí risked "self-destruction" in the eyes of the public if permanent members embarked on a policy of non-cooperation with reservists.

Ten days ago the general secretary of the Garda Representative Association (GRA), PJ Stone, made an unprecedented attack on Commissioner Conroy, accusing him of lacking leadership on the reserve force issue.

He said he would expect reservists to play a full part in policing, such as intervening in armed robberies.

However, the primary role of the reservists would be in community policing.

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