169. Deputy Pearse Doherty asked the Minister for Justice and Equality for a breakdown of the number of new Garda Síochána recruits to be allocated to each county for 2015 and 2016; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [35435/15]
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.
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. I am assured by Garda management that the needs of all Garda Divisions are fully considered when determining the allocation of newly attested Gardaí.
I am pleased that the budget allocation for 2016 will allow the recruitment of 600 new Gardaí in addition to the 550 that will be recruited by year end. The ongoing recruitment of new Gardaí is crucial to An Garda Síochána and for the safety of communities throughout the State.
I have requested from the Garda Authorities the information sought regarding the assignment of the new Garda Trainees who have attested as members of An Garda Síochána in 2015. I will write directly to the Deputy on receipt of same.