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Here's how much it would cost to put 500 more gardaí on the beat

The cost of recruiting between 100 and 500 extra gardaí has been outlined by Justice Minister Frances Fitzgerald.

The 100 new garda recruits at Templemore earlier this month.
The 100 new garda recruits at Templemore earlier this month.
Image: Eamonn Farrell/Photocall Ireland

IT WOULD COST nearly €10 million to recruit, train and employ 500 extra members of An Garda Síochána, according to recently-released figures.

Justice Minister Frances Fitzgerald revealed the cost in answer to a parliamentary question which asked her to set out the cost of recruiting between 100 and 500 new members to the force.

An Garda Síochána recently inducted 100 new recruits in its first recruitment drive in five years. Eighty-two men and 18 women were selected from over 25,000 who applied to join the force.

According to Department of Justice figures this will cost around €1.89 million. If the gardaí were to hire 200 more members it would cost €3.77 million.  An extra 300 members would cost €5.66 million while an extra 400 members would cost €7.54 million.

A total of €9.43 million would be spent to recruit, train and employ 500 members, according to the figures.

The costs do not include pension costs, which can’t be known until they are drawn down, and also exclude allowances.

The figures came in response to a question put to the minister by the Fianna Fáil justice spokesperson Niall Collins. His party has consistently criticised declining garda numbers.

In the Dáil last week, Laois-Offaly TD Barry Cowen said that the lack of gardaí on the beat “is cause for grave concern”.

“The number of gardaí on our streets continues to decline. People need an assurance from Government in regard to how it will assist the Garda to confront crime ridden cities and towns throughout Ireland,” he told Tánaiste Joan Burton.

In her response, Burton said that the government had begun a process of recruiting new gardaí and insisted: “The issue of Garda numbers has been addressed by this Government.”

Read: The new garda recruits will need to “win the trust” of the Irish public

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Hugh O'Connell

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