The provision of tasers for all frontline members of the gardaí is among the items to be discussed as the Garda Representative Association’s (GRA) annual delegate conference gets underway today, at the Castlecourt Hotel in Westport.

The conference will take place for the next three days.

They will also focus on a rise in attacks on its members and issues around pay.

The GRA represents more than 12,500 rank-and-file gardaí.

The Sligo/Leitrim division has put forward a motion calling on the commissioner to carry out a review of the armed support capability for each operational Garda District and Division. The motion states that they want the  review to look at response times for armed support last year, make a comparison of the response times against international norms and consider whether tasers should be available to all frontline members.

Tasers, hand-held devices, designed to incapacitate via electric shock are currently available only to specialist units such as the emergency response unit, armed support units and the special detective unit. There were 36 incidents of gardaí using tasers reported to the Garda Ombudsman in 2020, the most recent year for which figures are available.

The motion also calls on the Garda Commissioner to address the “deficiencies identified as a matter of urgency”.

The delegates will also discuss pay and conditions for members, in light of the “dangers faced by members on a daily basis, and the increasing number of assaults on our members”.