Fianna Fáil Justice Spokesperson Niall Collins has said the AGSI’s decision to withdraw from negotiations on an extension to Croke Park must act as a wake-up call for the Justice Minister Alan Shatter.

“This is a very serious development,” said Deputy Collins. “It is further evidence of the increasing arrogance we see from Minister Shatter as presides over an unprecedented dismantling of our garda force.

“The AGSI’s decision to withdraw from these talks must act as a much needed wake-up call for Minister Shatter. He cannot continue to dismiss the genuine concerns of gardaí and of communities. He needs to curb his enthusiasm for demonising and dismissing those who disagree with him, and start recognising the damaging impact of the cuts he has handed down.

“My fear is that we are on the brink of a crisis within the garda force. Minister Shatter needs to start listening to the gardaí about the very serious issues they are facing and engage with them on a way forward.

“I am also calling on the AGSI to re-enter these negotiations. Its members will be best served by the organisation being at the table as decisions are made that will affect their future. It is the unilateral decisions, made without the input of all sides, that have the potential to be the most damaging.”