221. Deputy Brian Stanley asked the Minister for Justice and Equality the number of gardaí assigned to Portarlington Garda station each year for the past ten years. [20549/19]
Minister for Justice and Equality (Deputy Charles Flanagan): As the Deputy will appreciate, it is the Garda Commissioner who is responsible for the distribution of resources, including personnel, among the various Garda Divisions and I, as Minister, have no direct role in the matter.
Garda management keeps this distribution of resources under continual review in the context of crime trends and policing priorities so as to ensure that the optimum use is made of these resources.
Since the reopening of the Garda College in September 2014, almost 2,600 Garda recruits have been assigned to mainstream duties nationwide, of whom 98 were assigned to the Laois/Offaly Division.
The Government has increased the budget for An Garda Síochána to €1.76 billion for 2019, which includes provision for the recruitment of up to 800 Gardaí this year. The Commissioner has now informed me that he plans to recruit a total of 600 trainee Gardaí in 2019 and 600 Garda Civilian Staff. This Garda Staff recruitment will allow the Commissioner to redeploy a further 500 fully trained Gardaí from administrative duties to frontline policing in 2019.
I believe that the injection of this large number of experienced officers into the field, along with the new recruits, will be really beneficial in terms of protecting communities. This and on-going recruitment will clearly provide the Commissioner with the resources needed to deploy increasing numbers of Gardaí to deliver a visible effective and responsive policing service to communities across all Garda Divisions including the Laois/Offaly Division.
The Garda strength of the Laois/Offaly Division from 2009 to 31 March 2019 as provided by the Garda Commissioner is available on my Department’s website:
For more general information on Garda Facts and Figures please see: http://www.justice.ie/en/JELR/Pages/An_Garda_Siochana_facts_and_figures