215. Deputy Robert Troy asked the Minister for Justice and Equality if candidates in the Garda Reserve are prioritised for places in Templemore; and if not, if he will consider putting this in place. [30153/19]
Minister for Justice and Equality (Deputy Charles Flanagan): As the Deputy will appreciate, it is the Garda Commissioner who has responsibility to manage and control generally the administration and business of the Garda Síochána, including by arranging for the recruitment, training and appointment of its members, reserve members and civilian staff.
Admission as a trainee to An Garda Síochána is governed by the Garda Síochána (Admissions and Appointments) Regulations 2013. The Public Appointments Service (PAS), on behalf of the Garda Commissioner, manages the initial recruitment stages for selection of Garda trainees. The final stages of the recruitment process in which candidates are vetted, and complete a physical competency test and a medical examination, are managed by the Garda Commissioner and I, as Minister, have no direct involvement in the matter.
The Regulations provide that special recognition may be given to Reserve members in the context of the selection process as they have undergone training in many of the skills required to be an effective full-time member of An Garda Síochána and have gained experience in operational policing. Since 2016, recruitment campaigns for An Garda Síochána have included special streams for eligible members of the reserve. To be eligible for the special Reserve stream, a reserve member is required to have completed their probation, performed their role to a satisfactory standard, and have served a minimum of 150 hours per year for two of the previous four years, as well as fulfilling the general Conditions for Entry. Applicants must be a member of the Garda Reserve at the time of appointment as a Garda Trainee to continue to be eligible under the Garda Reserve stream.