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new recruits

'Your early deployment will make a real and positive impact': 319 gardaí sworn in to help respond to Covid-19 crisis

The trainees will bring the Garda’s numbers to its highest level of almost 15,000.

JUSTICE MINISTER CHARLIE Flanagan has welcomed 319 new members to An Garda Síochána following their fast-track attestation at the Garda Training College, Templemore. 

The new recruits bring the number of sworn gardaí to the highest ever since the foundation of the State, over 14,750.

Garda Commissioner Drew Harris made the decision to attest the 319 recruits earlier than scheduled to boost An Garda Síochána’s response to the evolving coronavirus crisis. 

Harris told the News at One that they won’t be unsupervised and have been through “intensive training” despite the short period of time they’ve spent in Templemore. 

“We’ve carefully considered this, they are gardaí, they’ve been sworn in, when they go to the stations, they’re going to main stations, they’ll be supported by experienced gardaí in of terms of tutors and supervisors. We’ve made a big effort around the numbers that we have available and all of them will be supported.

In effect they’re getting their practical training, they’ll be brought back here to finish off their academic training as such.

Minister Flanagan commended the 124 members who are redeploying from their duties in the policing college to front-line policing alongside their former students.

“An Garda Síochána has always been defined by a deep connection to community, a connection which, in almost 100 proud years of the organisation, has never been more badly needed,” Flanagan said. 

“I want to assure those who are vulnerable, alone or afraid, you can count on our gardaí.  They will be there to reassure you and to help you.” 

Of the 319 new members, 65 have been assigned to the Dublin Region, 94 to the Eastern Region, 80 to the Southern Region and 80 to the North West.

They will initially always be teamed with someone else and it is anticipated that they will, in many cases, initially assist with community engagement.  

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As part of its response to Covid-19, gardaí have also hired 210 extra community support vehicles to support this engagement effort and implemented a number of “prudent organisational changes” across the organisation.

“Some of these changes include amendments to rosters, restricted annual leave, delaying retirements where possible, hiring an additional 210 community support vehicles and the redeployment of personnel including 124 personnel from the Garda Training College, who have been redeployed across all four regions,” a garda spokesperson said. 

Concluding his remarks, Minister Flanagan said: 

I thank you sincerely, on behalf of the Government, for your commitment – to family, to community and to country… Your early deployment will make a real and positive impact – in deterring crime, supporting other vital public services and reinforcing public confidence in their Garda Síochána.

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