Minister tells new gardaí force will be 'transformed'

Jennifer Bell with her brothers Joseph and Brian from Lucan, Dublin, at the Garda graduations in Templemore yesterday. Photo: Liam Burke/Press 22

Justice Minister Frances Fitzgerald promised the country's newest gardaí that they are entering into a force that will be "transformed" in the coming years.

The minister, who was joined by Garda Commissioner Noirin O'Sullivan, was speaking at the passing out ceremony at the garda college in Templemore where 99 student garda completed their training - the first new recruits to join since 2009.

The minister said the graduates had an "opportunity and obligation" to write the next phase in the history of the force.

"The controversies of the last couple of years have taken some of the shine off the great work done each and everyday by individual gardaí," she said, adding that "new structures" would transform the force.

The 99-strong contingent was made up of 81 men and 18 women.