Minister Flanagan welcomes 199 new members to An Garda Síochána
- 800 new Garda Members have attested in 2018 with overall Garda Numbers expected to reach approximately 14,000 by end 2018;
- An Garda Siochána on track to reach target of 15,000 by 2021;
- ‘I am proud that the continued investment in talented personnel is enhancing the fight against crime and increasing support to communities on the ground’. – Minister Flanagan
The Minister for Justice and Equality, Charlie Flanagan TD, has welcomed the addition of 199 new members to An Garda Síochána today, following their attestation as members at a ceremony in the Garda College, Templemore. The ceremony was attended by An Taoiseach Leo Varadkar and Garda Commissioner Drew Harris.
Speaking at the ceremony, the Minister welcomed the new members of An Garda Siochána, saying: “You are entering An Garda Síochána at a pivotal time in the history of the organisation. As the first class to attest since the publication of the Commission on the Future of Policing Report, you are in a very special position. You are the new generation, entering the service at a time of renewed focus. This is both a challenge and a privilege. To answer this call to vocation – to protect and to serve – is a commendable decision, and I thank each of you for answering that call”.
This is the fourth attestation to have taken place in 2018 and brings the number of new recruits assigned to mainstream policing duties around the country this year to approximately 800. It is expected that Garda numbers will increase to approximately 14,000 by the end of 2018 and real progress is being made to delivering on the Government commitment to increase the strength of An Garda Síochána to 15,000 members by 2021.
Referring to the ongoing reform programme for An Garda Síochána the Minister said ‘The report of the Commission on the Future of Policing provides a blueprint for a modern, efficient and effective police service. It is forward looking and I believe, transformative. I see two key strands to this Report – it is firstly about ensuring that An Garda Síochána delivers its services to the Irish people in the most professional, efficient and fair manner. But it is also about ensuring that the people of An Garda Síochána – its greatest resource and most valuable asset – are supported, developed and encouraged in the course of their careers. The delivery of this reform is an immediate priority for me, the Government and the Commissioner’.
The Minister noted the increase in the Garda Budget to €1.76 billion for 2019 which includes an increase in the Garda capital allocation 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. This capital investment is a key enabler in the reform programme and will be one of the main pillars on which the future of policing will be built.
The Minister concluded by congratulating the new Garda members and their families on their attestation saying ‘It is one of the great privileges of my job that I get to, in some small way, participate in what is a very special day for you and your family. This is an important day for each of you and your families, and an important day for the State’.
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 fourth attestation of approximately 200 Garda trainees that have taken place this year which has involved approximately 800 new Garda members attesting and being posted to main stream policing duties in communities across the country.
· Garda numbers have risen steadily since recruitment recommenced rising from 12,799 at the end of 2014 to 13,551 at the end of 2017 and are expected to reach approximately 14,000 by the end of 2018.
· 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 facilitate the continuing recruitment of up to 800 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.