Enda Kenny says “no question” of the army standing in for Gardai

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With 12,500 members of An Garda Síochána due to refuse to report for duty on Friday, last ditch talks are taking place at the Labour Court today and tomorrow.

The group representing rank and file officers is currently discussing pay and conditions with their middle ranking colleagues to have talks tomorrow.

Gardaí may be asked to postpone Friday’s action, until the Labour Court reaches a ruling.

Enda Kenny said that no matter what happens, and contrary to some reports, the army will not be on the streets on Friday.

Speaking during Leaders Questions in the Dail he said:

“I want to point out there is no question of the defence forces undertaking the duties of the Garda Síochána,

“They are only an aid to the civil power and would only stand in as an aid to the civil power, were that necessary.”

Enda Kenny said while the Labour Court is an independent body, when it gets involved in a dispute it often suggests taking “a deep breath” while it looks at the issues involved.

He described the threat of strike action as a matter of grave seriousness, but said there is time for it to be “put off”.

He also said the National Surveillance Unit and the Garda Technical Bureau are also at the heart of any response where there is a threat to the state and the emergency response unit and armed regional response units will operate as normal.