Gardai on front line shouldn't be left on their own

By Amy Lewis

Published 19/05/2016 | 00:00

Chief Supt John Roche.
Chief Supt John Roche.

Gardai need more support after they witness traumatic situations, according to Cllr Joe Sullivan.

Speaking in light of recent suicide awareness events and fundraisers, Cllr Sullivan said the fact that a Garda is often the first person to attend the scene of a suicide is 'something we all forget'.

'I know there was one welfare officer but I don't think that is adequate.'

Chief Superintendent John Roche said that he was 'very aware' of the effects that attending such incidents can have on the Gardai, adding that going to the scenes of assaults and traffic accidents can also be traumatic.

'We have a welfare officer in place. We also have a support service made up of experienced guards who are able to offer their support.'

Supt Roche said that every individual reacts different to experiencing such incidents saying that 'some will talk, others won't.'

'The welfare of guards is so important,' he said. 'Gardai come across very tragic incidents. Years ago, we had a macho approach and people had a few pints and forgot about things. That day is gone.'

Supt Roche said he was 'passionate' about this subject, adding that it's important that Gardai on the front line are not left on their own.

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