The Minister for Justice, Helen McEntee TD, has today welcomed the attestation of 71 Garda members and 69 Garda Reserves.
The Gardaí and Reserves, all of whom have now completed their training, are being attested as part of the measures announced by the Garda Commissioner to support the Government’s Level 5 Plan for Living with COVID-19.
The 71 Garda members attesting today have now completed their training and will be placed in Garda Divisions throughout the country.
Minister McEntee said,
“The immense contribution of An Garda Síochána to the national response to the COVID-19 pandemic, both at an organisational and individual level, has been pivotal. The widespread engagement by individual Garda members has undoubtedly reduced the rate of infection from what it might otherwise be, while Operation Faoiseamh has actively sought to connect with victims of domestic abuse, who are amongst those who are most vulnerable to the circumstances of reducing their contacts.”
“Those attesting today have already played their part in this response to the pandemic during their time in their training stations. I want to thank them for their dedicated service and for their commitment – to family, to community and to country. I wish each of them the very best at this extraordinary beginning to what I hope will be long and fulfilling careers.”
The Garda Reserve is a voluntary unpaid body drawn from the community to assist when extra personnel are required. Reserve Gardaí have certain Garda powers while on duty and perform their policing duties as determined by the Commissioner under the supervision of, and supported by, regular Garda members. The principal role of the Reserve consists of local patrols and crime reduction initiatives, targeted at specific local urban or rural problem areas. Members of the Garda Reserve are also involved in policing major incidents and events, and in providing other operational support to regular Garda members on the basis of an individual Garda Reserve member’s skills or local knowledge. They are expected to provide a quality service at all times and are a clear sign of partnership between An Garda Síochána and the community.
The Minister added,
“I would like to pay particular tribute to those attesting today as members of the Garda Reserve. Members of the Reserve already work full time jobs but willingly give their free time to An Garda Síochána in order to strengthen their local communities.
“A deep connection to community has always been the defining feature of An Garda Síochána. In almost 100 proud years of the organisation, never will this ethos be more acutely needed than now. Those who are vulnerable, alone or afraid have been vitally supported by An Garda Síochána through their engagement, reassurance and help throughout the pandemic. I thank all those who have completed their training as a Garda Reserve and will now bring their work in their communities to a new level.”
The Minister also acknowledged the outstanding commitment and professionalism of the staff of the Garda College for their work in preparing the newly attested class during the highly unusual circumstances of the COVID crisis.
The Minister concluded,
“I would like to thank all of those staff and students of the Garda College for the tremendous flexibility they have shown during this unique and challenging time. It is a tribute to the staff that new ways of teaching and training were embraced to ensure this class received their training and were ready to attest as full members of An Garda Síochána.”