GRA to debate whether gardai should be armed following Donegal branch motion

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Gardai are to consider whether having an unarmed force is realistic in a time of increasingly violent crime following the submission of a motion from the Donegal branch to the Annual Conference of the Garda Representative Association.

Pay is expected to dominate the GRA conference, which takes place this week in Killarney.

With more than ten and a half thousand members, the Garda Representative Association is by far the largest body acting for Gardaí.

As with other public servants' conferences, pay is at the top of the agenda, with newer members seeking parity with earlier entrants to the force, and city dwellers demanding an allowance for the higher cost of living.

But the realities of policing in a modern era are also a cause of concern, with the Donegal branch calling for a debate on whether it's realistic that the force is still largely unarmed at a time when violent crime is rising.