321. Deputy Pat The Cope Gallagher asked the Minister for Justice and Equality the number of gardaí in the Donegal division; the number of gardaí based in the division in each of the years 2011 to 2018; the number of new recruits placed in the division between 2017 and to date; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [23364/19]
Minister for Justice and Equality (Deputy Charles Flanagan): As the Deputy will appreciate, it is the Garda Commissioner who is responsible for the distribution of resources, including personnel, among the various Garda Divisions and I, as Minister, have no direct role in the matter. Garda management keeps this distribution of resources under continual review in the context of crime trends and policing priorities so as to ensure that the optimum use is made of these resources.
The Garda strength of the Donegal Division from 2009 to 30 April 2019 , as provided by the Commissioner, is available on my Department’s website through the following link.
The information in relation to the number of new recruits allocated to each Garda Station is available on my Department’s website through the following link, as supplied by the Commissioner. http://www.justice.ie/en/JELR/08_Allocation_of_Probationer_Gardaí_by_Division_and_Station_2014_to_March_2019.xlsx/Files/08_Allocation_of_Probationer_Gardaí_by_Division_and_Station_2014_to_March_2019.xlsx
I have been assured by the Garda Commissioner that the level of recruitment of Garda members planned for 2019 will ensure that the Government's commitment to increasing the strength of An Garda Síochána to 15,000 Garda members by 2021 will be achieved.
Since the reopening of the Garda College in September 2014, almost 2,800 recruits have attested as members of An Garda Síochána. This has seen an increase in the number of Garda members to just over 14,000 at the end of 2018, a net increase of over 1,000 since the end of 2016.
The Government has increased the budget for An Garda Síochána to €1.76 billion for 2019, including provision for the recruitment of new Gardaí and Garda Staff this year. The Garda Commissioner has informed me that he intends to recruit a total of 600 trainee Gardaí in 2019 and a net 600 Garda 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. This is in addition to the approximately 260 Gardaí redeployed from administrative to front line duties by the end of 2018.
For more general information on Garda Facts and Figures please see the following link: http://www.justice.ie/en/JELR/Pages/An_Garda_Siochana_facts_and_figures