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Garda Reserve graduation in Templemore in 2013. Alamy Stock Photo

Garda reserve rules to be updated ahead of campaign launch to recruit 1,000 new hires

There has not been a Garda reserve recruitment campaign since 2017.

GARDA RESERVE REGULATIONS are to be updated ahead of a major recruitment campaign due to be launched in the coming weeks. 

This is the first such campaign since 2017. 

Justice Minister Helen McEntee will ask Cabinet to approve the new rules today, when she will seek to allow those who wish to work more than the standard 208 hours per year if they want to do so. 

The new regulations will also ensure reserves attending court are considered to be on active duty.

The current regulations have been in place since 2006.

The minister intends recruitment campaign to be up-and-running in the coming weeks, with a target of hiring 1,000 reservist members by 2026.

Sources claimed that the changes to be approved will allow gardaí to provide better support and supervision of reserve members, while also making the provision of training more efficient.

Garda reservists are permitted to work alongside the Garda Road Traffic Unit; ensuring public safety during State visits; assisting with public order; assisting with crowd control; and assisting with day-to-day Garda work.

The minister consulted with the Commissioner, the Policing Authority and Garda representative organisations about the new regulations.

The new campaign comes after more than 2,000 people over 35 applied to become a garda under the new recruitment drive. 

The 2024 competition has attracted 6,381 applicants, up from around 5,000 during the last campaign ten months ago.

The Justice Minister, along with gardaí, have faced significant pressure to boost numbers, particularly after the Dublin riot last year. 


Separately, Housing Minister Darragh O’Brien will bring a memo to Cabinet on the voids programme, which aims to bring vacant social homes back into productive use. 

Since 2020, the government has spent over €163 million to return 10,820 homes to active use.

The minister will also update ministers on the progress to date on the delivery programme for social housing using modern methods of construction.

In December 2022, funding of €94 million was provided to local authorities to address legacy land debts on the condition that council deliver rapid-build houses. 

Local authorities were carrying around €309 million of land legacy debt, which are loans for land they bought in the past for development.

Government sources stated last year that councils that have this debt on land, coupled with the costs of building a new home on that land, argue that building on such a site is not viable for them. 

The housing department said the funding of nearly €100 million was about taking away the cost of the debt and interest owed so as to make it viable for a local authorities to deliver housing.

Cabinet will be told today that the department is now overseeing projects using modern methods of construction on 33 sites across 13 local authorities with 1,500 units committed and potential for an additional 200 units.

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