73. Deputy John Curran asked the Minister for Justice and Equality if his attention has been drawn to plans to increase the number of gardaí at Rathcoole Garda station; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [20180/19]
Minister for Justice and Equality (Deputy Charles Flanagan): As the Deputy will appreciate, it is the Garda Commissioner who is responsible for managing An Garda Síochána including the manner in which the resources of the Garda Síochána are deployed and I, as Minister, have no direct role in this regard.
The Deputy will be aware that Rathcoole Garda Station forms part of the Clondalkin District in the Dublin Metropolitan Region (D.M.R.) West Division. The Garda strength of the D.M.R. West Division on 31 March 2019 the latest date for which figures are readily available was 720, of whom 201 are assigned to the Clondalkin District and 14 are assigned to Rathcoole Garda Station. There are also 24 Garda Reserves and 61 Garda civilian staff attached to the D.M.R. West Division. When appropriate, the work of local Gardaí is supported by a number of Garda national units such as the National Bureau of Criminal Investigation, the Garda National Economic Crime Bureau and the Garda National Drugs and Organised Crime Bureau.
Since the reopening of the Garda College in September 2014, almost 2,600 Garda recruits have been assigned to mainstream duties nationwide, of whom 233 were assigned to the D.M.R. West Division.
The Government has increased the budget for An Garda Síochána to €1.76 billion for 2019, which includes provision for the recruitment of up to 800 Gardaí this year. The Commissioner has now informed me that he plans to recruit a total of 600 trainee Gardaí in 2019 and 600 Garda Civilian Staff. This Garda Staff recruitment will allow the Commissioner to redeploy a further 500 fully trained Gardaí from administrative duties to frontline policing in 2019.
I believe that the injection of this large number of experienced officers into the field, along with the new recruits, will be really beneficial in terms of protecting communities. This and on-going recruitment will clearly provide the Commissioner with the resources needed to deploy increasing numbers of Gardaí to deliver a visible effective and responsive policing service to communities across all Garda Divisions including the D.M.R. West Division.
For more general information on Garda Facts and Figures please see the link below