Justice Minister Frances Fitzgerald has ordered a judicial inquiry into the death of police sergeant Mick Galvin.Laura Hutton / Photocall Ireland

Police in Ireland have won the right to organize themselves as a legal trade union and go on strike for the first time.

The historic ruling comes after a landmark case taken by officers to the European Committee of Social Rights.

The Irish Sun reports that the ruling that Irish police can now take strike action is a ‘defining moment’ in the history of the force.

The Association of Garda Sergeants and Inspectors is now officially recognized as a trade union after the European ruling.

The union took their case to Europe in June of 2012 in protest against the state’s Garda Siochana Act which bans serving members joining a trade union.

The union’s legal team argued that complaint resulted in a violation of the European Social Charter according to the report.

The paper adds that the historic decision allows AGSI members to enjoy full trade union rights.

The Association now plans to join the Irish Congress of Trade Unions.

The Irish Sun says the ruling by the European Committee of Social Rights paves the way for the cops to strike and hold official negotiations with the Labour Relations Commission.

AGSI General Secretary John Redmond said: “This decision is a defining moment in our history and a significant decision for our future.

“We hope we will never have to resort to using its newly acquired right to strike in pursuit of the rights and entitlements of the sergeants and inspectors we represent.

“We now urge the Government to work quickly to agree mechanisms which will give AGSI access to the Labour Relations Commission and the Labour Court.”

The AGSI complaint was filed through the European Confederation of Police.ECP president Anne Nellberg Dennis said:

“The Committee’s conclusions are a victory not only for the Irish police, but have important impacts upon forces across Europe.”