Written answers

Thursday, 20 June 2024

Department of Justice and Equality

An Garda Síochána

Photo of Brendan GriffinBrendan Griffin (Kerry, Fine Gael)
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21. To ask the Tánaiste and Minister for Justice and Equality to provide an update on the success or otherwise of recent Garda recruitment efforts; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [26453/24]

Photo of Helen McEnteeHelen McEntee (Meath East, Fine Gael)
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At the outset I would like to assure the Deputy that I am absolutely committed to providing An Garda Síochána with the resources necessary to make sure communities around Ireland are safe and feel safe.

In 2024, the Government have provided a budget allocation of over €2.35 billion to An Garda Síochána, which includes funding for the recruitment of between 800 to 1,000 Garda trainees and 400 Garda staff this year. A new recruitment campaign for the Garda Reserve was also launched recently and I have set a target of 1,000 members of the Reserve by the end of 2026. Garda Reserves work alongside full time Garda members performing varied work and supporting the regular day-to-day community policing work of An Garda Síochána. I hope that, in time, this route will further expand the pool of those joining the Gardaí.

Nothing is off the table in terms of supporting recruitment into An Garda Síochána. I have taken a number of actions to support this already, including significantly increasing the Garda Training Allowance by 66% and increasing the age of entry from 35 to 50. I will also shortly enact legislation to increase the mandatory retirement age from 60 to 62.

Over 6,300 people have applied to become a Garda under the most recent recruitment campaign earlier this year. I am glad to see that so many people want to join An Garda Síochána and I am particularly pleased at the strong response from people aged between 35 and 50. Well over a third of the applications were in that age group.

This is the third year of Garda recruitment competitions post-Covid and while we have seen sustained interest among people in applying to join An Garda Síochána, the conversion rate remains challenging. I am engaging constantly with the Garda Commissioner and his senior team to ensure the level of interest converts to new recruits.

746 trainees entered Templemore last year which was the highest intake into Templemore since 2018. The total intake for 2023 represents a six-fold increase on the 2022 intake of 116. A further 185 trainee Gardaí entered the Garda College in April with intakes planned for July, September and December of this year. Based on last year’s recruitment intakes, the total number of attestations in 2024 is likely to be between 600 and 700. This will allow the Garda Commissioner to ensure each Division has additional policing resources.

Based on anticipated retirements and resignations, the number of Garda members is anticipated to continue to grow during 2024 and will continue to increase towards the current target of 15,000 during 2025.


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