Written answers

Thursday, 20 June 2024

Department of Justice and Equality

An Garda Síochána

Photo of Alan FarrellAlan Farrell (Dublin Fingal, Fine Gael)
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26. To ask the Tánaiste and Minister for Justice and Equality the efforts being made by her Department to increase the number of Garda reserve members; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [26530/24]

Photo of Helen McEnteeHelen McEntee (Meath East, Fine Gael)
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The new competition to join the Garda Reserve represents a real opportunity for anyone wishing to learn more about and support An Garda Siochana and make a contribution to their communities. Reserves serve a very valuable role in assisting Gardai with local patrols, crime reduction initiatives and administration. They also assist in the policing of major incidents and events, and provide operational support to Gardaí on the basis of the Garda Reserve’s skills or local knowledge.

I was delighted to launch the Garda Reserve recruitment campaign, the first since 2017, which is being run by Public Jobs on behalf of the Commissioner. The competition will close on 4 July. I believe this also represents a great opportunity to broaden the recruitment pool for An Garda Siochana particularly among communities which have not traditionally joined the service in large numbers.

To further support this competition, I was pleased to bring forward new regulations governing recruitment, training and deployment of the Reserve. While their work is voluntary, an annual stipend is paid to Reserve members and the maximum payment has been increased to €3,000. There are currently around 340 Garda Reserves, and Government has set a target of 1,000 Reserves by 2026. I am fully committed to working with the Garda Commissioner to achieve this goal.

This year 6,300 people applied to join An Garda Síochána, a significant increase on the number applying last year. No stone will be left unturned in boosting overall Garda recruitment and I am continuing to look at additional measures we can take. The Garda Reserve is a big part of our plan. I wish all prospective applicants the best of luck and look forward to welcoming new members of the Reserve in the coming months.


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