Minister Flanagan welcomes assignment of new Garda members to areas combatting gang violence
- 120 of 201 new members assigned to Dublin divisions and 25 to Drogheda
- Garda numbers now stand at over 14,000 and on target to reach 15,000 by 2021
- Minister praises Garda decision to participate in uniform for the first time in this month’s Dublin Pride March
7 June 2019
The Minister for Justice and Equality, Charlie Flanagan TD, has today welcomed 201 new members to An Garda Síochána following their attestation as members at a ceremony in the Garda Training College, Templemore.
The Minister said: “Around 120 of the 201 new Garda members passing out today will be assigned to divisions in Dublin. This includes 28 to the division that includes Coolock and 27 to the division that includes Blanchardstown. These newly attested members, who were already earmarked for these areas before the recent murders, will help strengthen the Garda response to gang violence and increase public safety in their communities. Having visited Coolock Garda station and local communities on Tuesday morning, I know how welcome these new members will be. In addition, as previously promised, 30 of the new members are being assigned to Louth, 25 of which will be to Drogheda.”
Today’s attestation brings to 2,800 the number of new Gardaí that have attested and been assigned to frontline policing duties nationwide since the reopening of the Garda college in 2014. Overall Garda numbers now stand at over 14,000 and a further 200 Gardaí will attest later this year.
The Minister reflected on the important role that new recruits will play in improving community safety, reducing crime and preventing harm to vulnerable people, saying: “The role of visible, frontline community policing cannot be underestimated. These new recruits have been assigned to stations around the country where working with their colleagues they will provide high visibility policing that will ensure that ordinary people can go about their lawful business safely.”
The Minister also took the opportunity to highlight the positive steps being taken by An Garda Síochána to ensure it is a more inclusive, diverse and modern organisation and highlighted in particular the upcoming Dublin Pride March.
Minister Flanagan said: “At the end of this month, Gardaí will participate for the first time, in uniform, in the Dublin Pride March. This is a significant step that demonstrates An Garda Síochána’s commitment to building the inclusive Ireland that we all want to see, where everyone, regardless of their background, feels welcome in our society. This can be further seen in the Commissioner’s very welcome recent decision to make allowances for cultural differences in the Garda uniform. I was also delighted to learn that Gardaí in my own constituency have trained in Irish Sign language, which means they can contribute to breaking down barriers between An Garda Síochána and the deaf community.”
Minister Flanagan noted that Budget 2019 has provided a total budget of €1.76 billion to An Garda Síochána, an increase of €110 million on 2018. This unprecedented level of funding will facilitate the sustained recruitment of 600 trainee Gardaí and 600 Garda Staff (civilians) this year, which will allow the Garda Commissioner to redeploy a further 500 skilled Gardaí to visible frontline policing duties by the end of the year. The ongoing programme of accelerated recruitment will ensure that An Garda Síochána remains on track to reach a strength of 15,000 Garda members and 4,000 Garda Staff by 2021. The funding will also provide for further investment in ICT, the Transport Fleet and the Garda Building Programme.
Notes to Editors
- The Government has put in place a plan for an overall Garda workforce of 21,000 personnel by 2021 comprising 15,000 Garda members, 2,000 Reserve members and 4,000 civilians.
- This is the second of three attestations scheduled to take place this year which will see approximately 600 new Garda members attesting and being posted to mainstream policing duties in communities across the country.
- The total Garda strength rose to over 14,000 by the end of 2018 for the first time since 2011.
- This investment in personnel is complemented by substantial investment in resources across the board for An Garda Síochána. A total budget of €1.76 billion has been provided to An Garda Síochána in Budget 2019, an increase of €110m on 2018. This funding will support the Commissioner’s decision to recruit 600 more Gardaí in 2019 along with necessary civilian Garda staff. The Garda capital allocation has increased from €61 million to €92 million in 2019, a 50% increase. This will facilitate investment of around €65 million in ICT .In addition, the Budget provides for a further €10 million investment in the Transport Fleet and €17 million in the Garda Building Programme.