504. Deputy Dominic Hannigan asked the Minister for Justice and Equality if she will consider the deployment of extra Gardaí to a town (details supplied) in County Meath; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [20375/15]
Minister for Justice and Equality (Deputy Frances Fitzgerald): As the Deputy will appreciate, the Garda Commissioner is responsible for the distribution of personnel among the Garda Regions, Divisions, and Districts. Garda management keep this distribution under continuing review in the context of crime trends and policing priorities so as to ensure that the best possible use is made of these resources.
I have been informed by the Garda Commissioner that the personnel strength for Meath Garda Division on 31 March 2015 the latest date for which figures are readily available is 276. There are 105 Gardaí assigned to Ashbourne Garda District which covers the Ratoath area. There are also 38 Garda Reserves and 25 Civilians attached to the Division.
The first intake since 2009 of 100 new recruits entered training at the Garda College, Templemore, on 15 September 2014. As part of Budget 2015, a further intake of 200 recruits in two batches was announced. On 15 December 2014, the first 100 of these batches commenced their training. The remaining 100 entered the college in early February. This brought to 300 the number of recruits in the Garda College and is a measure of the Government's commitment to ensure that recruitment to An Garda Síochána continues seamlessly. The September intake were attested as members of the Garda Síochána in April 2015 and assigned to Garda Stations throughout the Country and the December intake will attest in Summer 2015. In addition, I have received sanction from the Minister for Public Expenditure and Reform for two further intakes of 125 Garda recruits later this year.