Justice Minister must commit to increasing Garda numbers

19 January 2023

Labour justice spokesperson Aodhán Ó Ríordáin said it is concerning to see a huge drop off in the recruitment of Gardaí.

Deputy Ó Ríordáin said:

“I am extremely concerned at the decreasing number of members of An Garda Síochana. With numbers dropping to 13,907 in November 2022, from 17,750 in March 2020,it raises serious questions about the working conditions and career progression opportunities available to members.

“I am calling on Minister Harris and the Department to examine the reasons behind the huge drop off in members of new recruits in recent years.

“The party of law and order in Fine Gael is responsible for this collapse in Garda frontline numbers and they need to explain why the people of Ireland are being left without adequate policing.

“In Labour’s Alternative Budget published in September 2022, we called for the recruitment of an additional 800 trainees to help tackle the increase in anti-social behaviour, home burglaries and serious incidents of crime.

“Indeed as well as the additional numbers of Gardai needed, Labour also budgeted to provide enough funding to meet the request of an additional net 429 civilian staff, thus freeing up more frontline Gardai to patrol our streets and keep our communities safe.

“People in all parts of Ireland, rural and urban, want to feel safe and they want to feel secure in their own homes. They want to be able to walk around their own areas without fear, and they want assurance that if there is an emergency situation, that members of An Garda Siochana are in a position to come to their assistance in a timely manner. Fine Gael and Fianna Fáil can’t continue to haemorrhage members of the Force in the manner in which they currently are.”

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