173. Deputy Catherine Murphy asked the Minister for Justice and Equality the number of retired gardaí and the rank of each who retired in each of the years 2010 to 2017, in tabular form; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [8039/18]


Minister for Justice and Equality (Deputy Charles Flanagan): Members of An Garda Síochána who joined the organisation prior to 1 April 2004 may retire on full pension once they have served for at least 30 years and they have reached 50 years of age.  Members of An Garda Síochána who joined the organisation on or after 1 April 2004 may retire on full pension once they have served at least 30 years and have reached 55 years of age. A member has the option of continuing to serve until they reach 60 years of age subject to the Garda Commissioner being satisfied that the member is fully competent and available to undertake, and fully capable of undertaking, the duties of his or her position as a member of the Garda Síochána.
I have set out for the Deputy's information the number of departures from An Garda Síochána in the years 2010 to 2017 in tabular form as supplied by the Commissioner.  These figures include those who departed due to voluntary, compulsory, or cost neutral early retirement, resignation, death, dismissal and medical discharge.
This Government is committed to ensuring a strong and visible police presence throughout the country in order to maintain and strengthen community engagement, provide reassurance to citizens and to deter crime.  To achieve this the Government has put in place a plan for an overall Garda workforce of 21,000 personnel by 2021 comprising 15,000 Garda members, 2,000 Reserve members and 4,000 civilians. We are making real, tangible progress on achieving this goal.
I am informed by the Commissioner that since the reopening of the Garda College in September 2014, just under 1,600 recruits have attested as members of An Garda Síochána and have been assigned to mainstream duties nationwide. I am pleased to say that Garda numbers, taking account of retirements, increased to 13,551 at the end of 2017 - a net increase of over 600 since the end of 2016.
I am also pleased that funding is in place to maintain this high level of investment in the Garda workforce to ensure that the vision of an overall workforce of 21,000 by 2021 remains on track.  This year a further 800 new Garda Recruits will enter the Garda College.  Also 800 Garda trainees are scheduled to attest during the year which will see Garda numbers, taking account of projected retirements, reach 14,000 by the end of 2018.
In addition, a further 500 civilians will also be recruited to fill critical skills gaps across the organisation and to facilitate the redeployment of Gardaí from administrative and technical duties to front-line operational duties. There are plans to strengthen the Garda Reserve with new Reserves expected to commence training in 2018.
I can assure the Deputy that projected departures from An Garda Síochána are kept under continuing review and the level of recruitment adjusted as necessary in order to achieve the desired strength.

DEPARTURES from An Garda Síochána 2010-2017
  Com D/Com AC C/Supt Supt Insp Sgt Garda Total
2017 1 0 3 6 11 20 72 169 282
2016 0 0 2 5 6 16 64 170 263
2015 0 0 1 4 11 14 83 169 282
2014 1 0 0 4 8 15 83 180 291
2013 0 1 1 2 16 13 91 211 335
2012 0 0 1 5 19 24 119 294 462
2011 0 0 3 8 23 19 109 318 480
2010 1 0 2 3 14 8 100 279 407