GRA conference in Killarney to hear Gardaí want 24-hour armed support units in every division in the country

Rank and file Gardaí want 24-hour armed support units across every division in the country.

The issue of violent crime will dominate the annual conference of the Garda Representative Association, which begins in Killarney this evening.

GRA members from all 28 Garda divisions will be represented at their annual conference.

Resources to tackle criminal gangs will be discussed, following a rise in ATM robberies along the border and an upsurge in violence in Drogheda.

Members want a twenty four hour armed support unit in every Division and a full time public order unit in Dublin.

Gardaí say they also need clarity on when to use handcuffs if arresting people for drink driving.

The conference will hear calls to increase the age at which gardaí must retire, extra allowances for members living in rent pressure zones, access to the flu vaccine and for all garda cars to be fitted with GPS.

Justice Minister Charlie Flanagan and Garda Commissioner Drew Harris will address the conference tomorrow.