The number of gardaí now stands at over 14,000 as 201 new gardaí were attested at the Garda College today.
The number of new gardaí who have been attested into the force since the Garda College reopened in 2014 is 2,800, with a further 200 more new probationers expected to pass out later this year also.
As gangland crime activities grip certain areas of the country, the Garda Commissioner has posted 85 of the new gardaí to crime-gang areas. 55 gardaí are being posted to divisions in the Dublin Metropolitan regions; 28 to the division incorporating Coolock and 28 will be posted to the division incorporating Blanchardstown.
In County Louth, 30 new gardai will take up duty in Drogheda, a town which is currently in the midst a vicious drug feud.
Minister for Justice & Equality, Charlie Flanagan T.D. and the Garda Commissioner Drew Harris both attended the passing out parade at the college earlier today.
An increase of €110m in the garda budget will allow for the recruitment of 600 trainee gardaí and 600 civilian garda staff this year.
Justice Minister Charlie Flanagan and Garda Commissioner Drew Harris. (Photo: Declan Keogh / Emergency Times)
Speaking about the three gangland murders in the past three weeks, the Garda Commissioner Harris said those killings were the result of turf wars between organised crime groups that have escalated because of their viciousness, and said gardaí were not only investigating those killings but are determined to reassure the communities of their ongoing commitment to tackle those gangs in these areas.
“The allocation of three quarters of the gardaí graduating today to Dublin and Drogheda, areas currently worst affected by organised crime was very deliberate. Gardaí are trying to prevent further attacks and bring the perpetrators to justice and make sure they do not happen again.”
There are no allocations of new gardaí for counties Carlow, Clare, Cork, Kerry, Kildare, Kilkenny, Laois, Longford, Offaly, Tipperary, Westmeath, Wexford or Wicklow.
Just four gardai are being sent to Waterford.
Minister Flanagan said “These newly attested members, who were already earmarked for these areas before the recent murders, will help strengthen the garda response to gang violence and increase public safety in their communities,” said Minister Flanagan.
“Having visited Coolock Garda station and local communities on Tuesday morning, I know how welcome these new members will be. In addition, as previously promised, 30 of the new members are being assigned to Drogheda.”
The Justice Minister also said An Garda Síochána is taking more steps to ensure it is a more inclusive, diverse and modern organisation and highlighted in particular the upcoming Dublin Pride festival. “At the end of this month, gardaí will participate for the first time, in uniform, in the Dublin Pride March. This is a significant step that demonstrates An Garda Síochána’s commitment to building the inclusive Ireland that we all want to see, where everyone, regardless of their background, feels welcome in our society.”
“This can be further seen in the Commissioner’s very welcome recent decision to make allowances for cultural differences in the garda uniform. I was also delighted to learn that gardaí in my own constituency have trained in Irish Sign language, which means they can contribute to breaking down barriers between An Garda Síochána and the deaf community,” he added.
Best of luck to all the newly attested gardaí