Monday 23 September 2019

Garda Band costs public to the tune of €1.75m - despite cutting expenses by almost 50pc

Garda band
Garda band
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Darragh McDonagh

The Garda Band cost taxpayers to the tune of almost €1.75m last year, despite slashing travel and subsistence expenses for the musical troupe by nearly 50pc.

The band is comprised of 29 full-time musicians who have Garda ranks such as sergeant and inspector, but are not involved in policing duties.

They were paid an average of €58,225 each last year, and racked up a further €45,508 in overheads and expenses.

An Garda Síochána is currently looking for ways to curb police spending for the remainder of 2019 after reporting a budgetary overrun of €4.5m in pay-related expenditure by July. The overall cost of the Garda Band was reduced by 4pc last year, amounting to €1.73m.

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Stock picture

The amount claimed in travel and subsistence expenses fell by 48pc to €26,736, although transport costs increased by 91pc to €7,003. This suggests that savings may have been achieved by paying for transport directly, rather than reimbursing members for mileage and subsistence. Costs relating to communications and other equipment was cut by 48pc, falling to €6,075. However, there was little change in "incidental" expenses, which came to €5,560.

A Garda spokesperson said the band performed at more than 160 functions last year, including the Rose of Tralee festival, the St Patrick's Day parade in Dublin, and a number of rugby and soccer internationals at the Aviva Stadium.

Irish Independent

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