Statement by Minister for Equality, Immigration and Integration on Commissioner Harris decision to lift the restrictions on Garda uniform


4 April 2019


The Minister of State for Equality, Immigration and Integration, David Stanton T.D., today welcomed the announcement of the new An Garda Síochána recruitment campaign with a particular focus on our diverse new communities.


Speaking at the launch of a new ”Responding to Racism” guide, which was produced by ENAR Ireland (European Network Against Racism) with the support of the Department of Justice and Equality’s Communities Integration Fund, Minister Stanton said: I very much welcome the decision of Commissioner Harris to consider alterations to the Garda uniform to take account of religious and ethnic requirements, for example to allow turbans and hijabs, and the emphasis in this new recruitment campaign on the need for diverse communities to be represented in our police service. An Garda Síochána is taking a very important step to promote inclusion. This will have long lasting benefits, both for the service itself, and for the communities it protects. Not only are An Garda Síochána tapping into the advantage offered by a diverse workforce, they are also countering discrimination and promoting equality within the different environments in which they operate. I view diversity as a strength, which can only serve to enrich the workplaces of 21st century Ireland, and benefit our society as a whole.”


The Government’s approach to migrant integration is framed within a comprehensive Migrant Integration Strategy covering the four-year period 2017 to 2020. This Strategy contains 76 specific actions for Government Departments, local authorities, and other public bodies across a range of public policy and service provision areas including: Promoting Intercultural Awareness and Combating Racism and Xenophobia; Education; Access to Public Services and Social Inclusion; Employment and Pathways to work; Active Citizenship.


The Minister concluded, “The Migrant Integration Strategy provides us with a comprehensive framework for Government action in these areas. For example, the Public Appointments Service, which is responsible for the majority of civil and public service recruitment including Garda recruitment, is working within the Integration Strategy to ensure that proactive outreach and support measures are undertaken by all public sector employers to increase the diversity of their workforce. I am glad to see this commitment is being progressed through this new Garda recruitment campaign.”