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Over 3,000 gardaí set to be hired in new recruitment drive

It comes as members of the garda union are balloted on industrial action in a long running row over pay.

Image: Eamonn Farrell via RollingNews.ie

Updated 15.15

OVER 3,000 GARDAÍ are set to be hired in a new recruitment drive announced this morning.

The Tánaiste says it will bring the force to 15,000 members over the next four years.

Taking retirements into account, some 3,200 new garda members will be needed, along with the 1,200 that will have been recruited by the end of this year, to reach 15,000.

However, the Association of Garda Sergeants and Inspectors (AGSI) has raised concerns over who will be supervising the recruits when the arrive to local garda stations.

“An accelerated Garda training programme for new recruits is positive in theory, however the reality is that when those young gardaí arrive for operational duty at stations there will be a severe lack of supervision due to a lack of sergeants.

We have already seen cases whereby supervision was cited as the cause of police failings. Have we learned nothing? This accelerated recruitment approach will not work unless a simultaneous response to supervision is activated.

However, AGSI president Antoinette Cunningham added that, “Garda numbers are falling despite recruitment. Right now there are 12,800 members in An Garda Siochana, an all-time low, compared to the peak in 2008 when we had 15,300 members in the force.”

Applications

Announcing the new campaign, the Minister for Justice and Equality, Frances Fitzgerald encouraged anyone interested in joining to access the website of the Public Appointments Service and submit their applications.

In particular, I urge members of minority and new communities to consider applying so that the membership of An Garda Síochána will reflect the diverse communities that it serves.

It is expected that successful candidates from the new campaign will enter the garda college from mid-2017.

Some 534 recruits have enrolled as members of An Garda Síochána since the reopening of the garda college in September 2014 and another 150 recruits are due to enrol later this year.

The recruitment drive comes as rank and file gardaí are balloted on industrial action in a long running row over pay.

Applications must be made through www.publicjobs.ie.  The closing date for applications is Thursday 29 September 2016. 

Originally published 10.55am.

Read: The Garda union is asking members whether or not they want to strike over pay>

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