Overtime shambles leaves garda chiefs red-faced

Garda management has been left red-faced after Taoiseach Leo Varadkar said funding for overtime was never in question.

Gardai have clarified that a ban on overtime notified to officers on Tuesday will only remain in place until Sunday night and not the end of the year - writes herald.ie.

A communication to chief superintendents in the Dublin area said overtime was being cancelled as the budget for 2017 had been exhausted. But in a statement yesterday the force said that its budget for 2018 will start on Monday.

"From that day overtime will then be available to regional, division and district officers for policing delivery within the overtime budget allocated to them," a statement said.

"All officers will be reminded of the clear need for them to stay within allocated budgets."

The statement said policing services will continue as normal in organised crime operations, Operation Thor, the nationwide anti-burglary initiative, as well as routine road safety initiatives.

Earlier, the Taoiseach had insisted funding for garda overtime in the run up to Christmas was never in question.

Prospect

Mr Varadkar questioned why an assistant commissioner raised the prospect of cancelling overtime next month.

He told the Dail any funding for overtime in December would be taken out of the 2018 budget. "I would have hoped garda management would have been aware of that," he said.

His comments followed a statement from Dublin's most senior officer, Assistant Commissioner Pat Leahy, who informed all chief superintendents in the Dublin Metropolitan Region that overtime would be cancelled until the end of the year.

The Dail is due to approve an extra €42m for overtime which will largely be used to pay for work carried out by officers in November.

Read more news of Dublin on our site.

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