GRA to fight cuts 'at all costs'

Friday 12 April 2013 15.30
The GRA said it wants to express anger and frustration through placard protest
The GRA said it wants to express anger and frustration through placard protest

President of the Garda Representative Association John Parker has said that it will fight the Croke Park extension cuts "at all costs".

Members of the GRA protested outside Dublin Castle this morning, to coincide with the ECOFIN conference.

Speaking on RTÉ's News at One, Mr Parker described this protest as "an education campaign".

He said: "What they saw was an education campaign in us telling them that these cuts are hitting severely.

"Not the 'ivory tower' version that all is okay in Ireland, that we're able to take this pain, that the message has been put out that we will pay back all these loans, that we can afford to pay them back.

"What we're saying is that we can't, our members are suffering, the general public is suffering under these economic constraints."

Mr Parker said it was designed to show European ministers that, contrary to what they are being told, Ireland is not able to take the pain inflicted by austerity policies.

Minister for Public Expenditure and Reform Brendan Howlin has ruled out further negotiations on the Croke Park proposals, should the proposals be rejected.

However, Mr Parker said that there were plenty of options available to gardaí to oppose the imposition of cuts, despite the fact that gardaí are prohibited from taking industrial action.

Mr Parker said that gardaí perform tasks on a daily basis that they do not claim for, and which he said currently "save the Government a fortune".