Gardai are to consider whether having an unarmed force is realistic in a time of increasingly violent crime. The GRA, which represents rank and file Gardaí, is holding its annual conference in Killarney this week, where pay is expected to dominate.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 unarmed in a time of rising violent crime, and with the threat of international terrorism. The conference, which begins in Killarney today, will also hear calls to address the lack of 24 hour armed cover and frontline operational members nationwide.