Should we be concerned that Drew Harris is losing the respect of rank and file Gardai who jeered him during his address to their AGM?

Gardai jeered Commissioner Drew Harris as he was addressing the Garda Representative Association’s annual conference in Westport, Co. Mayo, Tuesday 25 April 2023.

Harris has been in a long-running dispute with the GRA over rostering.

He said: ‘I’ve already made compromises and I’m empowered to make more, but I can’t be the only one who makes compromise.’

He was jeered by delegates that ended when the chair called for order.

Section 18 of the Garda Síochána Act, 2005 makes it unlawful for a member of the Force of Garda Rank to become a member of any trade union or association other than the Garda Representative Association which was formed in 1978. It now represents over 12,000 rank and file gardaí, and the Association of Garda Sergeants and Inspectors (AGSI)

It’s expected that an emergency motion stating that the Commissioner’s words have damaged Garda confidence in him is to be put before the delegates today, Wednesday 26th

The motion states: ‘Commissioner Harris and the leadership team lack empathy and understanding and are failing to consider the welfare and work/life balance of our members.

‘Furthermore, with the Commissioner’s refusal to re-enter direct and meaningful negotiations regarding the rosters issue, it is now the opinion of DMR [Dublin Metropolitan Region] West delegates of the GRA that this has seriously damaged the association’s confidence in the Commissioner and we demand the president contact Commissioner and Minister to communicate this as a matter of urgency.’