327. Deputy Niamh Smyth asked the Minister for Justice the number of gardaí in the Cavan-Monaghan division at the end of April 2021; the way this compares to the end of April 2020; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [29979/21]
Minister for Justice (Deputy Heather Humphreys): As the Deputy will appreciate, the Garda Commissioner is responsible for the general management and administration of the Garda organisation under the Garda Síochána Act 2005. This includes the deployment of members of An Garda Síochána throughout the State and, as Minister, I have no role in these independent functions.
As at 30 April 2021 there were 388 Gardaí assigned to the Cavan/Monaghan Division, which represents an increase of 18% since 2015. These Garda members are supported by 57 Garda staff, which represents an increase of over 50% since 2015.
As the Deputy will appreciate, Garda numbers can be affected by a number of factors, including retirements, medical discharges and resignations. The impact of policing measures and other steps to support the public health restrictions has also, exceptionally, had an impact over the past year. As such, there has been a decrease in the number of Gardaí assigned to Cavan/Monaghan Division from 398 Gardaí in April 2020 to 388 in April 2021.
The Deputy may wish to note, however, that recruitment, which had been paused, has now recommenced in 2021 with 150 Garda trainees entering the Garda College on 24 May, the first of four intakes and a revised planned total of 450 for the year. This forms an important component in the unprecedented and sustained level of investment being made in Garda resources in recent years, and is equipping the organisation to meet community needs throughout the country.