421. Deputy Niall Collins asked the Minister for Justice and Equality the number of gardaí currently on sick leave and entitled to retire in the coming 12 months; the current national strength of An Garda Síochána; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [13387/15]


Minister for Justice and Equality (Deputy Frances Fitzgerald): I have been informed by the Garda Commissioner that the number of Gardaí on sick leave as at 27 March 2015 was 480 members. The number of Garda members who may retire, having completed 30 years service and who are at least 50 years of age in the period between 27 March 2015 and 31 December 2015 is 1,457. I have asked the Commissioner for the number who may be in a position to retire in the period to 31 March 2016 and when this information is to hand, I will write directly to the Deputy.
I am also informed by the Garda Commissioner that the strength of the Garda Síochána on 28th February 2015 was 12,763. The Deputy will be aware that there are currently 300 recruits in the Garda College. The first intake of these recruits will attest as members of the Garda Síochána in May 2015 and the December and February intakes will attest in August and October respectively.