Thursday, 5 March 2020
Department of Justice and Equality
337. To ask the Tánaiste and Minister for Justice and Equality his plans to permanently implement an armed support unit in the Cavan-Monaghan Garda division; if the existing one is on loan from County Louth; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [2864/20]
As the Deputy is aware, under the Garda Síochána Act 2005 as amended, the Garda Commissioner has responsibility for management of An Garda Síochána and for the allocation and efficient use of Garda resources. This includes responsibility for personnel matters and the distribution of personnel across the various Garda Divisions and Units. As Minister I have no direct role in these matters. I understand however that Garda management keeps the distribution of resources under continual review in the context of crime trends and policing priorities, to ensure their optimum use.
As the Deputy may be aware, the first Regional Armed Support Unit (ASU) was established on a pilot basis in late 2008. There are now a total of 12 ASUs nationwide, covering all Garda regions. These are deployed on a 24/7 basis and provide high-visibility, tactical, armed response capacity across the country, supplementing the national Emergency Response Unit.
I am informed by An Garda Síochána that there are 3 ASU in the Northern region as a whole. I am further informed that the ASU in Cavan is currently staffed on rotation by established ASU members drawn from across the state, excluding those located on the border. I am further informed by the Garda authorities that a competition is currently ongoing to provide for the permanent staffing of the ASU in Cavan.
In that regard the resources provided by Government to An Garda Síochána have reached unprecedented levels, with an allocation for 2020 of €1.88 billion. This level of funding is enabling sustained, ongoing recruitment of Garda members and staff and as a result, An Garda Síochána is a growing organisation. There are now approximately 14,300 Gardaí nationwide, supported by over 2,900 Garda staff and these numbers are continuing to grow.
Details on the overall number of Garda members assigned to the Cavan/Monaghan Garda Division are available on my Department's website at the following link:
Details in relation to the number of Garda staff assigned to the Cavan/Monaghan Garda Division are also available on my Department's website at the following link: