Updated: 27/03/18 : 08:26:42
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Garda Sergeants and Inspectors seek right to strike

The Justice Minister Charlie Flanagan has been put on notice that mid-ranking gardaí want the right to strike.

The Association of Garda Sergeants and Inspectors is meeting in Carlow where the suicide rate and welfare issues will dominate.

However, Mr Flanagan will also hear demands for the AGSI to get union recognition and with it the right to strike, even in a restricted capacity.

AGSI President Antoinette Cunningham says they'll ballot their members for strike action if enough progress isn't made with the Minister,

 "So we will see how matters progress over the next few months, as I said earlier to the Minister for Justice, we will also write to the various oversight bodies. They too carry a great responsibility. If they are serious about the reform agenda in An Garda Siochana then they must address the very issues that affect the workers in the organisation.

So we will write to the oversight bodies and we will share their responses with our membership."

Up to 12 gardaí have died by suicide since August, and mid-ranking gardai want action on the issue.

Vice President of AGSI Paul Wallace says there needs to be more support for gardai,

"We have a 24/7 counselling service but it needs to be expanded, it needs to be resourced. We're also looking for the help from a clinical psychologist, somebody who'll be there that our members can go to."