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Wednesday 4 October 2023 Dublin: 14°C
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Just 49 gardaí have applied for the €36,000 career break
Last month, senior officers complained that the scheme could impact manpower.

FEWER THAN 50 junior members of An Garda Síochána have applied for the incentivised career break offered to them last month.

Just 49 applications for the scheme had been received by the Garda Commissioner by close of business on 11 April.

However, rank-and-file gardaí do have more time as the closing date is not until 31 May.

Minister Alan Shatter says it is “not possible to predict” the level of interest until that date.

The three-year career break could be worth up to €36,000 for younger members of the force. Successful applicants will receive an annual payment of €12,000 or a lump sum of 75 per cent of gross pay and allowances (up to €30,000).

Officers can apply for a variety of reasons, including foreign travel, further education or other employment opportunities.

Commentary in media reports last month indicated that the scheme was not welcomed by senior officers as it could impact manpower.

However, in a response to a parliamentary question, the Minister dismissed such claims. He said:

The operation of the incentivised career break scheme is subject to the operating requirements of An Garda Síochána not being significantly adversely affected and I am informed that applications will be considered in that context.

It is understood that officers with particular skills or those who work in high demand areas would be refused entrance into the scheme.

Currently, there are 13,000 gardaí working in Ireland with plans to recruit a further 300 in train.

Last year, the Western Australian Police force began a campaign to recruit trained officers from the UK and Ireland to fill vacant roles.

Read: 20,000 people apply for jobs in An Garda Síochana

More: There are 359 departmental staff currently on career breaks

Related: Australian police force poaching trained gardaí

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