BY EILIS RYAN
A new recruitment campaign for members of An Garda Síochána has been launched.
The application process is via www.publicjobs.ie. The closing date for applications is Thursday 29 September 2016.
Announcing the campaign, the Tánaiste and Minister for Justice and Equality, Frances Fitzgerald TD, 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.
'This special stream was introduced for the first time in the existing campaign and has worked well,' she said.
The government has committed to increase the strength of An Garda Síochána to 15,000 members.
Taking account of projected retirements, reaching a strength 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.
Said the Tánaiste: “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.'
The existing recruitment campaign (launched last November) is ongoing and successful candidates will continue to be called from that campaign this year and into next year. It is expected that successful candidates from the new campaign will enter the Garda College from mid-2017.
Those chosen for the positions are required to undergo a two year training programme leading to a BA in Applied Policing. The two-year programme comprises a 32-week block of tuition at the Garda College in Templemore with a further 72 weeks of on-the-job experiential learning.