Donegal-based garda is new vicepresident of GRA

A Donegal-based garda is the new vicepresident of the Garda Representative Association.

He is Garda Brendan O Connor, who has been the Donegal GRA representative for the past six years.

He is based in Dunfanaghy.

He has been stationed in Donegal for almost the past 20 years.

The GRA represents 12,500 rank-and-file members of the force.

It elects its executive at an annual delegate meeting but because of the Covid pandemic the conference, held yesterday, was conducted online.

In a statement, Garda O Connor said gardaí are not being consulted about changes to their work and are subject to “unrealistic demands and relentless scrutiny”.

Speaking at the annual delegate conference, the Donegal man said issues such as civilianisation, changes to the Covid-19 roster and the rollout of the Operating Policing Model shows Garda management have “little regard” for consultation.

He added: “We are fooling ourselves if we think our input is influencing these processes are in the interests of our members.

“We are increasingly becoming nothing more than spectators on the side-line, brought in at the very end after decisions are made to give the appearance that representation is respected.”

He also hit out at “an archaic and fundamentally unfair discipline regime that is being utilised like never before to instil fear and create a false narrative that wrongdoing is prevalent.”

“Policing is a difficult job and the members we represent are on the receiving end of an endless onslaught of unrealistic demands and relentless scrutiny,” Garda O’Connor said.