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Revealed: The counties that did not receive any of this year's new garda recruits

  • No new garda recruits for Galway, Roscommon and Longford this year
  • Roscommon and Longford receive just five new recruits in last three years
  • Total of 488 probationer gardaí allocated to frontline operational policing duties

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'These communities will feel all the more isolated by not getting any new gardaí' -  Independent TD for Roscommon-South Leitrim Michael Fitzmaurice

'These communities will feel all the more isolated by not getting any new gardaí' - Independent TD for Roscommon-South Leitrim Michael Fitzmaurice

'These communities will feel all the more isolated by not getting any new gardaí' - Independent TD for Roscommon-South Leitrim Michael Fitzmaurice

No new garda recruits were assigned to the counties of Galway, Roscommon and Longford this year.

The counties were the only three which did not benefit from the 488 probationary gardaí who have hit the streets in the past few months.

In total, the Roscommon/Longford division has received just five new recruits in the past three years, while Galway has only welcomed 10 since 2015.

Dublin's south and south central divisions topped the list as receiving the most recruits this year, with 43 probationary gardaí each.

The capital's north central division, home to the ongoing Hutch-Kinahan gangland feud, received 42 new gardaí, while Dublin's north division received 39.

The figures, released by An Garda Síochána under the FOI act, show that the east of the country benefited from this year's new recruits in the force.

Dublin's west division, where gardaí are currently battling a feud which has seen two murders in the last three weeks, added 38 new gardaí to their books, while Kildare and Dublin's east division received 25 and 24, respectively.

Other divisions in the east that benefited this year include Laois/Offaly with 27 new recruits, Kilkenny/Carlow with 20 new recruits and Louth, Wexford and Westmeath with 17 each.

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Details of the allocation of probationer Gardaí to Garda Divisions throughout the State from 2015 to date

Details of the allocation of probationer Gardaí to Garda Divisions throughout the State from 2015 to date

Details of the allocation of probationer Gardaí to Garda Divisions throughout the State from 2015 to date

 

A statement from gardaí said the allocation of gardaí is determined by a number of factors including the crime and non-crime workloads, the minimum establishment, the population, policing arrangements in the area, operational strategies and transfer applications.

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However, Independent TD for Roscommon-South Leitrim Michael Fitzmaurice said the lack of garda recruits being assigned to rural counties is "worrying".

"There seems to be neglect again in rural counties and areas," the TD told Independent.ie.

"These communities will feel all the more isolated by not getting any new gardaí.

"The reality is if you don't have feet on the street, you can't be bringing in all this new legislation. At the end of the day, you're not going to solve problems like rural crime and drink-driving if you don't have feet on the street.

"Roscommon, Longford and Galway are huge areas. And when robbers note the lack of gardaí, they become more confident.

"It's called equality," he added.

A total of 488 probationary gardaí were "allocated to front-line operational policing duties this year", compared to 391 last year, and just 286 in 2015.

Although they've hit the streets, the force's new recruits still need to undergo a further 16 months of "practical and classroom-based training" in order to achieve their BA in Applied Policing.

Probationary gardaí technically have 'powers of arrest' after the first six months of training in Templemore, but it is common practice for new gardaí to solely undertake a watching brief for the first 17 weeks of their career at a station. Following this, new recruits can make small arrests and can partake in investigations, although they are still observed by a tutor.

A statement released by An Garda Síochána said that new gardaí are allocated to "specially designated training stations which have the required training and development structures and resources in place."

This includes "trained garda tutors" and "access to a permanently appointed supervisory sergeant who is thoroughly familiar with their responsibilities under the training programme."

A statement from gardaí added; "The allocation of resources within the confines of a Garda Division are proportionate to the requirements necessary to meet the core functions of An Garda Siochana in any given area within that Division."

They also confirmed that no special requests or denials were made and all probationer gardaí took up their allocations as directed.


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