316. Deputy Thomas P. Broughan asked the Minister for Justice and Equality if some of the new intake places in An Garda Síochána will be set aside for members of the Garda Reserve; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [40138/15]
Minister for Justice and Equality (Deputy Frances Fitzgerald): I wish to put on record my appreciation for the contribution that those who volunteer for service as Garda reserve members make on a daily basis to the work of An Garda Síochána. Together with full time members, they provide vital assistance to communities across the country.
Recruitment competitions for full time members of An Garda Síochána are open to all who meet the eligibility criteria set out in the Garda Síochána (Admissions and Appointments) Regulations 2013.
For those reserve members who meet these requirements, the 2013 Regulations provide that, as part of the competitive selection process "due recognition to any satisfactory service by the person as a reserve member" shall be given to such candidates as the Public Appointments Service (which has responsibility for organising the process) and the Commissioner, after consultation with the Minister for Justice and Equality, determine. As part of the planning process for the new Garda recruitment competition to be announced shortly, consideration is being given to how such due recognition may be given to the training and experience of reserve members.
The Deputy may wish to be aware that of the 475 Garda trainees who have entered the Garda College since it reopened in September 2014, 88 were already reserve members of the Force.