The Garda Representative Association seeking meet officials of the Department of Justice in an effort to avert a protest at Garda stations throughout the country. The association has told its 9,000 members to ignore a directive by the Garda Commissioner to begin operating a new computer system from midnight. Garda Headquarters has said that the Commissioner expects all officers to use the new system, known as PULSE. However, the GRA says that it will not tolerate, what it calls, the bullying of its members.

PULSE is due to come into operation at midnight tonight. The £40m police computer system was tested at stations over the weekend and Garda headquarters says that it is ready to go. Garda Commissioner Pat Byrne said today that he expects rank and file Gardaí to use the new computer and would be very concerned if they refuse to carry out, what he calls, normal policing duties. Those who refuse to do so could be disciplined.

The Garda Representative Association has warned, however, that it will not tolerate any bullying of its members, particularly Gardaí on probation. It claims that such tactics are already being used in at least one station in Dublin where people have been threatened with discipline. This afternoon, representatives of the Association is to meet with officials from the Department of Justice in an attempt to avert a conflict situation.