Minister Flanagan welcomes 185 new members to An Garda Síochána
Attestation coincides with the appointment of Garda Commissioner Drew Harris earlier this week
7 September 2018
The Minister for Justice and Equality, Charlie Flanagan TD, has welcomed the addition of 185 new members to An Garda Síochána today, following their attestation as members at a ceremony in the Garda College, Templemore. The ceremony was attended by the new Garda Commissioner Drew Harris who took up his position earlier this week.
Speaking at the ceremony, the Minister welcomed the new Commissioner to his position, saying: “Drew Harris is a man of huge ability and integrity and brings with him a wealth of experience and knowledge in policing, security and change management. As the first Commissioner appointed from outside the State he will bring with him new ideas, new perspectives and I am confident that with your support, he will lead An Garda Síochána to great success over the coming years.”
This is the third attestation to have taken place in 2018 and brings the number of new recruits assigned to mainstream policing duties around the country this year to approximately 600, with a further 200 recruits due to attest in November.
The new recruits will play a pivotal role in the ongoing reform programme for An Garda Síochána. The Minister added: “The imminent publication of the report of the Commission on the Future of Policing in Ireland will chart a blueprint for a modern, efficient and effective policing service. I am sure this will be an immediate priority for the new Commissioner, as it is for Government. You are part of a new generation of An Garda Síochána with both the privilege and the responsibility of being a part of this era of transformation. I encourage and challenge you all to grasp this opportunity to play your part in renewing the organisation while staying true to the core of An Garda Síochána – deep roots in community, trust and respect for and from the public it serves.”
The Minister also paid tribute to the outgoing Acting Commissioner Dónall Ó Cualáin, acknowledging his leadership, integrity and commitment during his time in office: “The Government is very grateful to Dónall Ó Cualáin for his exceptional service to the State throughout his career and in particular his effective leadership of An Garda Síochána since last September at a particularly difficult time. He did so with a calm determination that has laid a solid foundation for the work that the new Commissioner is about to embark on.”
Notes to Editors:
· The Government has put in place a plan for an overall Garda workforce of 21,000 personnel by 2021 comprising 15,000 Garda members, 2,000 Reserve members and 4,000 civilians.
· This is the third of four attestations of approximately 200 Garda trainees that will take place this year with a further attestation scheduled for November.
· Garda numbers have risen steadily since recruitment recommenced rising from 12,799 at the end of 2014 to 13,551 at the end of 2017 and are expected to reach approximately 14,000 by the end of 2018.
· This investment in personnel is complemented by substantial investment in resources across the board for An Garda Síochána. A total budget of €1.65 billion has been provided to An Garda Síochána in 2018, an increase of 2% on 2017. It should be noted that the Garda allocation continues to benefit from the significant additional funding that was provided in 2016, and maintained in 2017, to fund the sustained response to tackle gangland crime, the continuation of Operation Thor and ensure that measures to prevent international terrorism can be continued.