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Question

11. Deputy Margaret Murphy O'Mahony asked the Tánaiste and Minister for Justice and Equality the number of the new Garda recruits assigned to the west Cork Garda division in each year since Garda recruitment resumed in 2014; and the attested personnel strength of the west Cork Garda division in September 2014 and at the end of February 2017. [15765/17]

Answer

Deputy Frances Fitzgerald: I will circulate the details to the Deputy on the numbers in the Cork west division. In 2014, the personnel strength was 271, in 2015, it was 276, in 2016, it was 281 and it is now 282. Five of the newly-attested gardaí were stationed in that area in 2015. I made the point earlier to one of the Deputy's colleagues that as recruitment continues and as we have more newly-attested gardaí and extra recruitment throughout the year, the Garda Commissioner will be in a position to analyse the needs of different areas and decide where those newly-available Garda recruits can go. We have a plan in terms of the numbers of gardaí now being recruited. The goal is to arrive at 21,000 by 2021. That includes 15,000 Garda members. Taking account of retirements, which the plan does, we will reach that figure by 2021. That plan is on course to be achieved. The funding has been provided this year for 800 Garda recruits, up to 500 civilians to support the reform plan and 300 Garda Reserves. The Deputy will have heard the advertisements for that recently. In terms of the needs of the Deputy's own area and the area of the west Cork division, obviously the inspectorate is also looking at how gardaí are allocated to different areas. There is an overall review, but the important point is that the allocation of personnel to different areas is based on need in the area. I have no doubt that the Deputy is familiar with the need in her own area. The numbers have been increasing very slightly and five of the new gardaí have gone to the area.