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Image: Eamonn Farrell/Rollingnews.ie

Gardaí to recruit 800 new officers with €60 million funding increase

Funding of €95 million will be made available for overtime pay.
Oct 9th 2018, 5:55 PM 15,353 18

AN GARDA SÍOCHÁNA will receive increased funding to the tune of €60 million that will allow for the recruitment of 800 new officers, Minister for Finance Paschal Donohoe has said. 

This was one of the announcements made by Donohoe as part of Budget 2019, which was delivered to the Dáil this afternoon.

“The years ahead offer much opportunity for policing in Ireland,” he said. 

Capital funding to the tune of €220 million will also be provided in the justice sector next year, which will go towards the construction of a forensic science laboratory and investment in garda ICT and the purchase of garda vehicles.

Furthermore, up to €95 million will be made available for the overtime budget. 

Donohoe referenced the Report from the Commission on the Future of Policing in Ireland which was published last month, and recommended “sweeping reform” of An Garda Síochána. 

He said: “I would like to complement the Commission on an excellent report that lays the groundwork for the transformation that is required.”

The €60 million extra funding represents an increase of 3.5%, the minister added.

Responding to the Budget measures, Minister for Justice Charlie Flanagan said the increased funding meant that some of the measures in that report could begin to be implemented. 

“I fully appreciate that, as part of the reform programme, the Commissioner will need to consider all aspects of the funding requirement in the Garda Vote and how all resources at his disposal can be best deployed including in relation to the composition of the Service,” he said.

In a speech to the Dáil responding to the Budget, Fianna Fáil TD Barry Cowen said that 800 new gardaí on the streets and in rural areas means “the force will be better placed to serve the public and tackle crime”. 

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Sean Murray

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