Written answers

Thursday, 10 September 2020

Department of Justice and Equality

Gender Balance

Photo of Bernard DurkanBernard Durkan (Kildare North, Fine Gael)
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188. To ask the Tánaiste and Minister for Justice and Equality the extent to which gender balance is maintained throughout An Garda Síochána at all ranks; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [23245/20]

Photo of Helen McEnteeHelen McEntee (Meath East, Fine Gael)
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As the Deputy will be aware, the Garda Commissioner is responsible for the administration and operation of An Garda Síochána, including matters of personnel and Human Resources policy. As Minister, I have no direct role in these matters, however I fully support the Commissioner and his management team in their efforts to strengthen and diversify An Garda Síochána in all areas.

I am informed by the Commissioner that the total number of women in all ranks of An Garda Síochána as of the 31 August 2020, the latest date for which figures are currently available, was 4,003 or approximately  27 % of the total strength of 14,628. This compares favourably with 3,130 or 21.7% of the total strength on 31 December 2008.  While this is broadly in line with other police services in England and Wales, there is clearly plenty of scope for improvement.  At the critical leadership rank of Assistant Commissioner I welcome the fact that 44% are women with the recent promotion of two women to this rank.

The Report of Commission on the Future of Policing in Ireland recommended that An Garda Síochána needs to develop its recruitment strategies to reach a more diverse intake of students

In addition, the report also recommended that An Garda Síochána should reflect the diversity of Irish society, not only in gender and ethnicity, but also in terms of socio-economic, educational and geographical backgrounds and that they would need to develop recruitment strategies which reach a more diverse intake. The Report also recommended the reform of the current roster system to support the wellbeing of all Garda Members and introducing greater flexibility in work practices to enhance the attractiveness and job satisfaction of policing as a career. 

In this regard, I am advised that work is well advanced on the development of an Equality, Diversity and Inclusion Strategy for the Garda workforce and I look forward to engaging with the Garda Commissioner on its implementation.

For the Deputy's information I have attached below in tabular form, the Garda strength by gender and rank on the 31 August 2020, the latest date for which figures are currently available, as supplied by the Commissioner.

Rank Male  Female Female as % of total
Commissioner.  1 0 0%
Deputy Commissioner. 1 0 0%
Assistant Commissioner.  5 4 44%
Chief Superintendent.  37 10 21%
Superintendent.  149 17 10%
Inspector.  307 70 19%
Sergeant.  1,630 471 22%
Garda. 8,495 3,431 29%
Total  10,625 4,003 27%


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