Fianna Fáil Spokesperson on Justice Niall Collins has called for a radical change in behaviour from Justice Minister Alan Shatter in order to avert a total breakdown in the relationship between the gardaí and the Government.
Deputy Collins has expressed alarm at the Minister’s moves to discipline four members of the AGSI who walked out during his speech at the conference yesterday.
“This decision by Minister Shatter will only widen the gulf between him and members of the force. While I don’t condone the action by AGSI members from Carlow-Kilkenny yesterday, it is clear that it was taken out of total exasperation and a sense that there was no other way to get the Minister’s attention,” said Deputy Collins.
“This was a response to Minister Shatter’s appalling attitude towards the gardaí and his refusal to listen them. The Minister has spent the past 2 years undermining their ability to do their jobs, dismantling their infrastructure, slashing their resources and dismissing any concerns they attempt to raise about the impact of all of this on their lives and on communities. His arrogant attitude towards anyone who offers criticism has compounded the problem – as recently as this evening’s RTÉ Drive Time, the Minister refused to take an opportunity to improve relations with the Garda representative bodies, instead preferring to reiterate his view that everyone else is the problem.
“The Minister’s behaviour and attitude has been a major factor in creating the problems that are now dominating his agenda. He appears to be the only person in the country who doesn’t seem to understand that repeating the behaviours that got him into trouble, are going to solve the problem. Alan Shatter is in a crisis entirely of his own making – it is time he stopped digging.”