Fighting fit? Garda seeks fitter recruits in the battle against crime
Have you ever wondered if you have what it takes to join the gardaí? Or what shape you need to be in for consideration?
Well, now's your chance.
A major garda recruitment drive was launched by Tánaiste and Justice Minister Frances Fitzgerald yesterday.
Some 3,200 gardaí are set to join the force in a phased basis over the next four years to bring numbers back to 15,000. Of the 3,200, 800 will be recruited next year.
Anyone who wishes to be considered to fight crime across the country must first complete a gruelling physical test. The test includes two different parts; one is a physical exam, which will test applicants' ability to sprint, weave, jump and duck.
The prospective garda will have to weave their way through cones, carry a tyre three metres, jump across a one-metre mat, duck underneath a barrier, leap over a fence, drag a 45kg mannequin two metres, before sprinting up and down a stairs. Tired yet?
Well that has to be completed three times in quick succession and to pass it must all be done and dusted within three minutes and 20 seconds. Male applicants will also be required to complete between 29 and 35 sit-ups in one minute, according to their age; while females will be required to complete between 25 and 30 sit-ups in one minute.
Furthermore, men will be required to complete between 22 and 25 press-ups, with no time restriction, while females will be required to complete between 18 and 20 push-ups.
To see what all the fuss was about, the Irish Independent decided to head along to our local city centre gym and give it a lash. Fitness instructor at Body Byrne Fitness on Clarendon Street, Maija Rumjanceva, was on hand to replicate the test - as best she could - and put this semi-fit reporter through his paces.
So without any preparation, and on a diet of a chicken wrap and a bottle of coke, I made a dash through weights used as cones, conducted my own balancing act along a rope, carried and dragged some sandbags and made a dash for the finish line - which was via the lengthy stairs in and out of the building.
I got the three laps in with a minute and 11 seconds to spare. Maybe the gardaí should invite me to Templemore to see how I get on with the real deal.
Speaking yesterday, Ms Fitzgerald said the recruitment phase would provide effective policing.
"It reflects the Government's commitment to seamless ongoing recruitment to An Garda Síochána to ensure the service is renewed and has the capacity to provide visible, responsive and effective policing to every community throughout the country."