116. Deputy Robert Troy asked the Minister for Justice and Equality when further recruitment to An Garda Síochána will commence. [34858/15]


Minister for Justice and Equality (Deputy Frances Fitzgerald): This Government is committed to the ongoing recruitment of trainee Gardaí, and to this end the first intake since 2009 of new recruits commenced training at the Garda College, Templemore, in September of last year.
The position in relation to the current competition is as follows. Following receipt of 24,000 applications, the Public Appointment Service invited candidates to complete Stage 1 of the competition which consisted of an assessment questionnaire and reasoning tests which were undertaken on-line. I understand that around 18,000 candidates completed this stage and fewer than 13,000 candidates reached a satisfactory standard. Those who did achieve a satisfactory standard were placed in three bands determined by their overall scores.
To date there has been four intakes of Garda Trainees into the Garda College, giving a total intake of 400. A further 150 recruits will enter college by year end, bringing total recruitment of Garda Trainees to 550. So far 290 of the new Garda Trainees have attested as members of An Garda Síochána. On attestation, new Probationer Gardaí are assigned to Garda stations throughout the country by the Garda Commissioner, where they are assigned to mainstream uniform policing duties.