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Wednesday 28 September 2016

'Gardai are working under a skeleton service - more recruitment is needed' - GRA boss

Geraldine Gittens

Published 01/06/2016 | 07:52

Garda Representative Association president Ciaran O'Neill
Garda Representative Association president Ciaran O'Neill

Gardai are working to protect Irish citizens and fight crime on a “skeleton service”, the president of a garda representative association has warned.

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Ciaran O’Neill, president of the Garda Representative Association, has warned that garda recruitment levels this year will not overtake the number of outgoing gardai over the next 12 months.

Some 75 of the next tranche of 147 recruits passing out from Templemore in the next few weeks will be stationed in Dublin.

The majority of the remaining officers will be deployed in the Leinster region.

Mr O’Neill said that although an effort has been made to raise recruitment levels this year, the numbers that must retire by June of next year exceed that.

“I do appreciate the number of recruitments has gone from 600 to 800… but the number of 800 needs to be accelerated”

“There are just under 1,500 who could retire from Garda Siochana this year, but 800 must retire by June of next year.”

“I do appreciate we can only recruit so many at one time,” he said, adding, “we are running on a skeleton service with the numbers.”

Mr O’Neill said garda recruit training needs to be “tweaked” to make the process more efficient.

“I know there are constraints with training, but slight tweaking to the training system could deal with it more efficiently”

He said he did not believe that this year’s recruitment numbers will exceed retirement numbers.

“Gardai leaving would probably come from Dublin and the eastern region, the only way to replace them is recruitment.”

“800 will be recruited this year and 800 must retire by June of next year… That's not really excessive of the retirement rate.”

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