Government 'Exploring Options' For Irish Airports In Advance Of Garda Strike
The Department of Justice is "exploring options" to deal with immigration control at Ireland's international airports for the planned Garda strike next month.
The industrial action, which is expected to see members of the Garda Representative Association (GRA) and the Association of Garda Sergeants and Inspectors (AGSI) withdraw its services on four Fridays in November, has seen concerns been brought up by airlines and airport management over the effect it will have have on their flights and services.
"The Department is exploring with An Garda Síochána (AGS) and Dublin Airport Authority (DAA) options for dealing with immigration control in the event of the planned Garda action going ahead," said a spokesperson for Justice Minister and Tanaiste Frances Fitzgerald.
A spokesperson for the DAA said that "this would be a matter for the Department of Justice" and that "Gardaí carry out this responsibility on behalf of the Department".
Immigration duty at Terminal 2 is currently carried out by Garda while civilian workers for the Irish Naturalisation and Immigration Service (INIS) operate passport control at Terminal 1. There are advanced plans for passport control to be fully handled by INIS workers at Dublin Airport, reports the Irish Independent.
With the planned strike drawing closer, a source has commented that it is unlikely INIS workers will be in a position to work at Terminal 2 on the days of the industrial action and that they are unlikely to be able to handle those passengers being redirected from Terminal 2 to Terminal 1.
The strike will see around 10,500 GRA members and an additional 2,000 sergeants withdraw labour on the days November 4, 11, 18 and 25.