497. Deputy Martin Browne asked the Minister for Justice if An Garda Síochána will be recruiting in 2021; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [27872/21]

506. Deputy Jim O'Callaghan asked the Minister for Justice the number of persons currently on a panel waiting for recruitment into An Garda Síochána; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [28185/21]


Minister for Justice (Deputy Heather Humphreys): I propose to take Questions Nos. 497 and 506 together.
As the Deputies may be aware, under Section 26 of the Garda Síochána Act 2005, the Garda Commissioner is responsible for generally managing, administering and carrying on the business of An Garda Síochána, including the recruitment and training of Garda members and staff.
The Public Appointments Service (PAS) administers the initial stages of any recruitment competition for An Garda Síochána on behalf of the Commissioner, including any panels associated with those competitions. PAS is the independent body responsible for public service recruitment under the provisions of the Public Service Management (Recruitment and Appointments) Act 2004.
While Budget 2021 provided for the recruitment of up to 620 new Gardaí this year, the Commissioner has indicated that, due to the impact of the CoVID-19 pandemic, recruitment is likely to be of the order of 450 trainees spread over four intakes in 2021. The first such intake (of 150) commenced training in the Garda college yesterday, 24 May. The remaining scheduled commencement dates, subject to public health restrictions, are 19 July 2021, 20 September 2021 and 15 November 2021. It is anticipated that all trainees in 2021 will all be assigned from previous competitions.
I am informed that there are currently 572 Garda Trainee candidates at various stages of the recruitment process in An Garda Síochána (in addition to those who commenced training yesterday). I am further informed that consideration is being given to holding a recruitment competition later this year. Further information about joining An Garda Síochána is available at the following links: