GRA official fails to get his bullying claim investigated
A complaint of bullying and harassment by a civilian staff member of the Garda Representative Association has not been investigated despite repeated efforts by the complainant to have it heard.
John O’ Keeffe, who resigned last month as communications director of the GRA, has written to the governing body of the organisation asking its 31 members to deal with the matter. Mr O’Keeffe is still employed by the GRA until the end of the year and he continues to edit the association’s magazine, Garda Review.
In his letter, he asks the members of the body, the Central Executive Committee, to identify to whom he should make his complaint as he has made repeated efforts to be heard.
“It is almost two weeks since I lodged such a request to do so (make a complaint),” he wrote in the letter seen by the Irish Examiner.
“However, in this time, I have received no substantive response from those to whom I wrote. Please also note that a week ago, I then simply asked that my request to make such a complaint be forwarded to yourselves as the governing body of the association for your consideration.”
He points out in the letter that the members did not receive his request despite his best efforts. Mr O’Keeffe also attached to his letter a batch of emails showing the previous attempts he has made to have his complaint heard.
It was reported last month that Mr O’Keeffe had resigned as communications director citing “untenable differences” on policy but he would continue in the office until the end of the year. He took up the role 10 months ago when his predecessor re signed. Efforts to contact Mr O’Keeffe for comment yesterday were unsuccessful. His letter to the CEC was received by the members in the latter half of this week.
Earlier this week, the Irish Examiner reported on an entirely separate complaint of bullying and harassment in the GRA in which a female member complained against four male members. A human resources company, retained by the GRA, began investigating the matter last week, more than a year after the complaint was made. Three of the four members complained of are understood to be not co-operating with that investigation.
Last January, a review by the management consultancy firm, Ampersand, was scathing of the policies, procedures and management structures in the GRA. In particular, the review cited the governing body as being far too large and a perception among the GRA’s 10,200 members that a “jobs for boys” culture exists in the organisation.
Despite the criticisms and pledges to implement a raft of recommendations the structures, including the 31-member governing body, continue to exist.