Minister Flanagan welcomes assignment of new Garda members to areas combatting gang violence

 

 

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.

 

ENDS

 

Notes to Editors