Wednesday 22 November 2017

'This needs to be addressed' - GRA demand more black and Asian gardaí in the force

Garda Review editorial calls for greater minority representation in An Garda Siochana

The comments appeared in the latest edition of the Garda Review magazine
The comments appeared in the latest edition of the Garda Review magazine
Cathal McMahon

Cathal McMahon

Rank and file gardaí have raised concerns that there are no members of the African or Caribbean community in the force and claimed recruitment of people from the black or Asian community is "conspicuous by its absence".

In an editorial in the latest edition of the Garda Review questions are raised about the number of minorities in the force.

The publication, which is the official magazine of the Garda Representative Association (GRA), says that despite patterns of immigration and diversity in modern Ireland this has not been reflected in the selection and recruitment processes for An Garda Siochana.

"So far no one in authority has provided an answer as to why there is not a substantial influx of colour.

The editorial appeared in the July/August edition of the Garda Review
The editorial appeared in the July/August edition of the Garda Review

"Ideally we envisage greater recruitment from non-Irish nationals who have made Ireland their home alongside members of the LGBT community and Traveller groups."

The Garda Review claims that this will have policing as well as wider societal benefits.

The magazine, which is distributed to over 10,000 members of the GRA, goes on to criticise current recruitment in the force.

"Recruitment to An Garda Siochana especially from the Black or Asian Minority Ethnic [BAME] community is conspicuous by its absence - albeit there are few exceptions from other minority ethnic groups. There is currently no member with African or Caribbean origin; this needs to be addressed if An Garda Siochana is to reflect the constituent community of modern Ireland."

Concerns around the number of Arabic speaking gardaí were raised in the aftermath of the London and Manchester terror attacks.

Garda Commissioner Nóirín O'Sullivan would only say a number of members had proficiency in different languages, when asked in June.

"We also have access to translators and interpreters, who are available to us on a 24/7 basis, that we can call upon," she said.

When asked the number of gardaí who were proficient in Arabic specifically, a Garda spokesperson also declined to discuss the matter, citing "security and operational reasons".

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