126. Deputy Bernard J. Durkan asked the Minister for Justice and Equality the number of women throughout all ranks in An Garda Síochána; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [42726/18]
Minister for Justice and Equality (Deputy Charles Flanagan): I have been informed by the Garda Commissioner that the total number of women in all ranks of An Garda Síochána as of the 31 August 2018, the latest date for which figures are readily available, was 3,677 or 27% of the total strength. This compares favourably with the number on 31 December 2008 which was approximately 3,100 or 22% of the total strength. While this is broadly in line with other police services in England and Wales, there is clearly plenty of scope for improvement.
The Garda Authorities have assured me that a concerted effort is being made to encourage women to consider a career in An Garda Síochána so that the membership of An Garda Síochána will reflect the community that it serves.
The Commission on the Future of Policing in Ireland (CoFPI) in the course of its work held semi-structured focus group discussions with female Garda members to explore the experiences of female Garda personnel regarding their careers, training and development and future prospects. Among the recommendations made in the CoFPI report is the reform of the current roster and greater flexibility of work practices which would enhance the attractiveness and job satisfaction of a career in An Garda Síochána.
The Government noted this Report on publication and my Department is currently consulting widely on the issues raised including with the Garda Commissioner in advance of me returning to Government in December with my views on the recommendations and a High Level Implementation Plan.
For the Deputy's information I have set out in tabular form the number of women by rank and as a percentage of the total by rank as of 31 August 2018.
Data from 31 August 2018
|Total||Female||Female as % of Total|
|Commissioner||1 (from 3rd Sept)||0||0%|
|Deputy Commissioner||1 (from 3rd Sept)||0||0%|