Written answers

Wednesday, 31 January 2007

Department of Justice, Equality and Law Reform

Garda Recruitment

8:00 am

Photo of M J NolanM J Nolan (Carlow-Kilkenny, Fianna Fail)
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Question 398: To ask the Tánaiste and Minister for Justice, Equality and Law Reform when it is proposed to recruit again for the Gardaí; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [2300/07]

Photo of Michael McDowellMichael McDowell (Minister, Department of Justice, Equality and Law Reform; Tánaiste; Dublin South East, Progressive Democrats)
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I have been informed by the Garda authorities, who are responsible for the detailed allocation of resources, including personnel, that the personnel strength (all ranks) of An Garda Síochána increased to a record 13,000 following the attestation of 299 new members on Thursday, 16 November, 2006. This compares with a total strength of 10,702 (all ranks) as at 30 June, 1997 and represents an increase of 2,298 (or 21.5%) in the personnel strength of the Force during that period. The combined strength (all ranks) of both attested Gardaí and recruits in training as at the 31 December 2006 was 14,068.

Furthermore, I should say that in December, 2006 as part of a package of anti-crime measures, the Government approved the continuation of the existing Garda recruitment programme to achieve a total Garda strength of 15,000. The accelerated intake of 275 new recruits per quarter into the Garda College will continue until this target is met. The Garda Budget now stands at €1.4 billion, an 11% increase on 2006 and a 96% increase since 1997 in real terms.

Garda management state that while no date has yet been set for the next competition for recruitment to An Garda Síochána, in the context of the accelerated Garda recruitment programme it is expected that a Garda recruitment competition will be held in the latter half of this year.

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