A commitment for adequate funds for an increase in Garda numbers, an upgrade in the Garda fleet and a complete overhaul the Garda IT system is being sought by the Minister for Justice Frances Fitzgerald ahead of next weeks budget.
The Justice Minister wants garda numbers brought up to the levels requested by senior garda management. Speaking at the Garda College in Templemore, Co. Tipperary, the Minister said the Government has not yet decided if further recruitment will take place.
Senior members of An Garda Siochana have once again expressed their concern that the strength of the force has gone below 13,000. However, while they welcomed that the first class of Garda recruits who began on the 15th of September last after a five year gap, senior officers said a significant increase in recruitment would be required to keep pace with the high numbers of retirements from the force annually.
The Minister for Public Expenditure Brendan Howlin has said that a €600 million ‘leeway’ fund will be made available, and this will be used at best to spread across pressure points in various departments. The departments most under pressure are health, justice and education, and Minister Howlin said the vast majority of this fund will be shared across those departments.
Report By: Declan Keogh 11/10/14
Pics: Declan Keogh / Emergencytimes.ie