The recruitment of 800 new Gardaí is an opportunity to strengthen the forces links with communities in Tallaght and across Dublin, according to Dublin South West TD and Independent Minister, Dr Katherine Zappone.
The Minister is welcoming the decision to increase the size of the force and is actively encouraging people in Tallaght with an interest in policing to apply before the closing date of 29th September.
It is planned to increase the numbers of Gardaí across the country to 15,000 over the next four-years.
Minister Zappone added:
“The continuing recruitment of new Gardaí is bad news for criminals and it is also an opportunity for the force to strengthen its own community links.
“A strong police force must reflect the communities which it serves which is why people of all backgrounds with an interesting in protecting and serving their neighbours should be encouraged to apply.
“There has been changes within the ranks with women now accounting for 1 in 4 of all Gardaí, however there is a still a long way to go.
“The recruitment campaign is for those between 18 and 35 years of age with the required education qualifications. Full details are available at www.publicjobs.ie”
The recruitment drive is in response to an increase in crime throughout the country following a reduction in Garda numbers in recent years.
Announcing the recruitment campaign, the Tánaiste and Minister for Justice and Equality, Frances Fitzgerald, said that the new campaign will, in addition to an Irish language stream, include a special stream for eligible members of the Garda Reserve who give their time on a voluntary basis to support the work of An Garda Síochána.
Taking account of projected retirements, reaching a number of 15,000 will require some 3,200 new Garda members to be recruited on a phased basis over the next four years in addition to the 1,200 that will have been recruited by the end of this year since the reopening of the Garda College in September 2014, according to the Department of Justice and Equality.
So far 534 recruits have attested as members of An Garda Síochána and are on the ground in communities nationwide. Another 150 recruits are due to attest later this year.
The Tánaiste said:
“It is essential to ensure that An Garda Síochána has the capacity to train larger numbers without any diminution in the quality of its training programme, and to provide appropriate supervision and support to newly qualified Gardaí to ensure that victims and the public are well served.
“I welcome the detailed planning process that the Commissioner and her team have in place to ensure the delivery of increased numbers of Gardaí without any compromise on the quality of those recruited or the training programme.
“I encourage all those interested in joining An Garda Síochána to access the website of the Public Appointments Service and submit their application at www.publicjobs.ie
“In particular, I urge members of minority and new communities to consider applying so that the membership of An Garda Síochána will reflect the diverse communities that it serves.”
1,200 Gardaí were recruited in 2015, but there was still less of a Garda presence than there was in 2010 due to a five-year freeze on Garda recruitment, which started in 2009 and came to an end at the end of 2013.
Minister Zappone said she hopes that young local people will join the force and lead the next generation by example. She said:
“Given the deadline is now looming I believe it is important to get the news out by every means possible to communities across Tallaght that recruitment is underway.
“By doing so we can ensure that the number of men and women from Dublin South West serving within the force will increase even further.
“It is clear there are people with the talents, skills and commitment within our local communities who would make outstanding Gardaí not only in terms of carrying out their duties but also in building on relationships with young people by becoming strong role models.
“Gardaí are our frontline, they are leaders in our communities and within the next few days it is my hope that young people in Tallaght will answer the call and become the role models of the future.”