And how much did they get paid?
It is not clear who has the final say over whether the money is given to police or dog handlers. The government also offers training but many of the dog handlers do not receive payment.
Under the new deal, all police dogs are supposed to receive annual allowance of €2,100 in addition to their base wages of €40,000 as part of the revised deal. Any dog that does not meet the criteria for an automatic increase can also receive an “enhanced allowance”, worth €500 for training, €300 for lifeguard training and €240 for patrol support.
The Dublin City Council agreed to hand over €8 million of the €10 million the county council wants to raise over the next three years. Council officials argue that their “solutions-based” model is a far cry from the “solutions-only” model adopted by much of Northern Ireland’s policing.
Sinn Fein’s Conor Murphy MP argued last night that it was outrageous that gardaí should have to get paid for working on their dogs.
He told the Irish Independent that he would oppose a vote on the €10 million funding deal if it included a provision for the dog handlers to be paid for their work which the council says is illegal.
“I do not recognise anything about the Gardaí being paid, I am not surprised they should be doing that. Why they are not I am not clear but it is highly questionable and they should get paid if it is going to happen – they are not paid.”
Murphy said his view that all police officers get paid did not mean they should be paid “dollars for dough”.
A city council spokesman said: “Culture-related allowance is being funded to give gardaí the flexibility to do their core work on the doorstep, while ensuring the best possible policing service is delivered at weekends, as well as the weekends when gardaí are on patrol, and to give them more flexibility to make these additional policing activities. This will be a key part of the final agreement which will be brought to Cabinet later this year.”
Minister for Justice Alan Shatter reiterated his opposition on Thursday night to the dog training money in the final agreement.
“I think any amount that is available on grounds of skill, on the grounds of competence and on the grounds of merit would be a very substantial amount of money.”
The revised deal gives the county council access to more than €4
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