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Sunday 18 August 2019

Garda ban on wearing hijabs and turbans lifted to attract minorities

Recruitment drive: Garda Commissioner Drew Harris wants to recruit more people from minority communities. Photo: Gareth Chaney, Collins
Recruitment drive: Garda Commissioner Drew Harris wants to recruit more people from minority communities. Photo: Gareth Chaney, Collins
Breda Heffernan

Breda Heffernan

An Garda Síochána will end its ban on members of the force wearing religious dress such as hijabs and turbans to encourage more candidates from minority communities.

The force opens a new recruitment campaign competition today for garda trainees and is seeking to attract diverse candidates.

As a result it has said it will consider "alterations" to the garda uniform to take account of religious and ethnic requirements, although this will be subject to operational and health and safety obligations.

It said it is to allow members of the Sikh community to wear turbans and Muslim women to wear hijabs.

In a statement it said it had "identified such matters as a major barrier to some people considering becoming a Garda member".

The force said such an approach was in line with that adopted by the PSNI and NYPD as well as police in the UK, Australia and Canada.

Commissioner Drew Harris said: "We hope that this will encourage people from minority communities to join An Garda Síochána. We want to demonstrate to them that An Garda Síochána is an inclusive employer that is serious about becoming more diverse."

He said the new recruitment campaign will focus on those people who might not have previously considered a career as a garda.

"We want to encourage people from all walks of life to join us. We are looking for diversity not only in background, but also in skills," he added.

Irish Independent

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