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Dublin: 12 °C Thursday 21 February, 2019

Retirements could leave stations without permanent garda: report

The Garda Síochána could be left with significant personnel shortages if all gardaí eligible for retirement by next February decide to step down from their posts, according to an internal document seen by RTÉ.

File photo: a garda patrols the streets of Cavan.
File photo: a garda patrols the streets of Cavan.
Image: Mark Stedman

IF ALL GARDAÍ eligible for retirement by next February decide to step down from their posts, eight per cent of garda stations could be left without a permanent garda, according to a confidential report.

The contents of the internal report will be the basis for an RTÉ Prime Time programme, to be aired tonight.

RTÉ reports that the gardaí will be left with significant personnel shortages if all who are eligible take retirement. More than 10 per cent of stations could be left without a permanent sergeant, according to the document.

The Minister for Justice, Equality and Defence, Alan Shatter TD addressed the matter today, saying that the reduction in public sector numbers, as drawn up in the context of the agreement with the EU and IMF, would reduce the number of serving gardaí to 13,000  by December 2014 – the same level of strength that existed at the end of 2006.

Shatter stressed that the staffing reductions would be achieved through retirements, saying there were currently around 1,200 garda members who have sufficient service to voluntarily retire on full pension.

He said: “Even though it is not expected that all of these will actually retire, it is entirely sensible for the Garda Commissioner in June last, to circulate  a document to senior garda officers to consider the possible impact in the force of retirement in the months ahead, including plans for succession at senior management levels and to address possible variations in retirements across regions or in different ranks”.

The Minister admitted that “the higher age-profile of the more senior ranks leaves them proportionately more liable to retirements” but that these important management and supervisory ranks would be maintained at the appropriate level through internal promotions.

Shatter also said that the reductions were an “important and necessary contribution” to both meeting Ireland’s obligations pursuant to the EU/IMF agreement and in effecting necessary reductions in public expenditure.

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