Monday, 15th September 2014

In the first intake to the Garda College in Templemore, 100 new recruits entered training today, Monday 15th September. Speaking at the induction, Frances Fitzgerald TD, Minister for Justice & Equality, said that this marked a positive step forward for policing in Ireland and promised seamless ongoing recruitment after a period of financial constraint.

The Minister spoke of the need for Garda reform saying that she would be confronting deficiencies and challenging bad practices so that An Garda Síochána would be in a better position to meet the realities, challenges and expectations of 21st Century policing. Because of recent controversies, she told the new recruits that they would have to win the trust of Irish society each and every day, and must never assume it.

"I am committed to putting in place, and where necessary reforming, the organisation, structures, practices and systems to support the men and women of An Garda Síochána to effectively deliver the best possible policing and security services for our communities and our country. In some cases this may involve substantial changes," she said. "In some cases this may involve confronting deficiencies and challenging bad practices. We are starting with major changes to the administration and oversight of policing and further changes will inevitably follow to ensure that the high quality and respected service that An Garda Síochána has provided for the last 90 years is continued and enhanced to better meet the realities, challenges and expectations of 21st Century policing."

The Minister stressed the need for a new emphasis on national standards, consistent right across the country, and on protocols and approaches implemented evenly by everybody. She said she was determined to put in place methods and resources that would support the men and women of An Garda Síochána, who are widely trusted, adding that they performed a complex, occasionally dangerous, constantly evolving task and made an invaluable contribution to Irish life.

"As new recruits you will undergo a rigorous training programme under the direction of Chief Superintendent McMahon and all the staff here in the College. This training will provide you with the necessary foundation to allow you to progress and develop as Gardaí upholding the finest principles of honesty, accountability, respect and professionalism. You are the first new recruits to be recruited by An Garda Síochána in recent times. You won't be the last. It is my intention that there will be seamless ongoing recruitment as we have committed, and I will be making further announcements before the end of the year," concluded the Minister.