Major drop in garda applicants as GRA claim role 'no longer as enticing as it once was'
There has been a significant drop in the number of people applying to join An Garda Síochána.
Figures, obtained by Independent.ie, show that just over 5,000 people applied to join the force in the latest round of recruitment.
This is a significant fall on the last round in January of this year when 17,000 applied for 600 jobs.
When the moratorium on garda recruitment was lifted in 2013, over 24,000 applications were received for the 300 positions.
In this latest round of accelerated recruitment 800 jobs were advertised in early September with a closing date of September 29.
A Department of Justice spokesman confirmed that over 5,000 applications were received. Sources told Independent.ie that the final figure is expected to be close to 5,200.
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A spokesman for Minister Frances Fittzgerald explained: "Over the two previous Garda Trainee campaigns applications received were at an all-time high, given that there had not been a recruitment campaign since 2008.
"On this occasion over 5,000 applications were received, showing a levelling off to a more regular pattern which is in line with campaigns held prior to the moratorium."
However the Garda Representative Association (GRA) has claimed it is low due to the pay and conditions being offered by the force.
The Garda Representative Association is not surprised the numbers applying to join An Garda Síochána have dropped. In a recovering economy, the continuing poor pay and conditions for new Gardaí means that for many, the role is no longer as enticing as it once was.