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Garda boss happy to speed up reform

Garda Commissioner Noirin O'Sullivan has said she is ready to speed up reform after criticism from the Association of Garda Sergeants and Inspectors.

Ms O'Sullivan said that she was "delighted" to hear complaints that progress was not quick enough, following this week's AGSI conference in Trim, Co Meath.

"Normally, people complain about things moving too quickly but I was glad to hear a call for further development," she said.

"It was great to pick up a newspaper and read that my people are calling for faster progress. If they are ready to go, so am I."

Speaking in Dublin yesterday, Ms O'Sullivan said "the Garda service" needs fresh new blood to invigorate and energise the force.

"I have to disagree with my friends in the media who say people who want to join the guards are doing it for a handy job for life.

"Over 25,500 applied for 100 positions during our last recruitment drive, they are not looking for a cushy job for 30 years, they are following a vocation.

"When I joined the gardaí in 1981, the average age of applicants was 18 or 19 - the average age during our last recruitment drive was 28."

Ms O'Sullivan says the new recruits are the most educated and diverse group to enter the service in the history of the organisation.

"Many of these people have spent years abroad and have left other jobs to join the gardaí," she said.

The commissioner added that when they graduate next month they will be entering a new era in policing in Ireland.

Irish Independent