The Association of Garda Sergeants and Inspectors says there are too many organisations with responsibility for overseeing the work of the gardaí.

AGSI General Secretary John Jacob says it is up to the Government to either rationalise or abolish any of the organisations but that one of them should be responsible for the delivery of change.

The association, which represents middle ranking gardaí, is holding its annual conference in Carlow.

The Policing Authority, the Garda Ombudsman Commission, the Commission on the Future of Policing, and Oireachtas Committees are some of the bodies with responsibility for garda oversight.

The AGSI says there is little coordination between these bodies and some are doing the same job at a cost to the taxpayer.

Mr Jacob said the message of reform is being lost and little change is being seen at the frontline with so many organisations involved.

This afternoon, the Acting Garda Commissioner told the conference that he shares their concern over the lack of sufficient supervisors in An Garda Siochána.

Yesterday, the AGSI warned of a "chronic shortage" of sergeants which it says are 160 fewer than the necessary minimum.

Today, Donal Ó Cualáin told delegates that the shortages were due to legacy issues, primarily the moratorium on recruitment and promotions

He also said that this was a big risk for the organisation and hoped that the employment ceiling on the number of sergeants would be raised.

On the issue of staff welfare, he said gardaí in the past tended to "bottle things up and take them home" as part of a "macho culture".

However, he said this was no longer the case; there was more evidence of people talking about their problems and that had to be encouraged.


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Meanwhile, gardaí who worked during Storm Emma at the beginning of March are to get a maximum of two days' extra leave. 

In a message to members, the Acting Garda Commissioner said this was in "recognition of the special efforts made by all personnel who were rostered and attended work on the 1st, 2nd and 3rd of March 2018".

It is described as a "once-off gesture" and members and civilians who were not able to attend work on those days have been told they can apply for special leave to cover the days they missed. 

There have been calls for protocols in the event of extreme weather where employees are not able to turn up for work.

However, a number of companies deducted annual leave from employees or gave them the option of unpaid leave for days when they were unable to attend work during Storm Emma.