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Templemore Garda College Will Remain Open

Noel Coonan with Alan Shatter

Minister Alan Shatter has assured Deputy Noel Coonan that Templemore Garda College will remain open.
The Minister for Justice Alan Shatter addressed Templemore Town Council last Thursday where he passionately assured all present that: “There was never ever any doubt of any description that Templemore Garda College would close. It represents a crucial part of the architecture of our Garda force and is here to stay.

Minister Shatter also moved to reassure all present that he “hopes to resume recruiting within 18 months.”  These words of fortitude and reassurance were given following a passing out ceremony in the Garda College.

Minister Shatter continued: “The financial envelope handed down from the last Government has put huge constraints on our economic activities but we have to abide by it. There is no means of raising additional moneys; arrangements have been entered into with the IMF/EU bailout. We will know a lot more next March about where we stand financially and it will be clearer then when recruiting can recommence.

Deputy Coonan welcomed the Justice Ministers’ comments and thanked him for agreeing to address the council. The local Fine Gael TD also outlined that it was the last Government who undertook to reduce Garda numbers to 13,500 by the end of this year, and to 13,000 by the end of 2014 but the Garda College remains one of the leading police academies worldwide.

The Minister also said that if a greater number of the Garda force retire than anticipated in the coming year then that may bring forward recruitment. “Recruits will be brought back in as soon as the force meets limits outlined by the IMF. I’m very conscious of the importance of the Garda College to this area and it’s crucial it stays vibrant. I have a great affection for the college and we are constantly looking at initiatives that can benefit from skills and facilities within the college. For example, the college could be utilised to provide police training for other countries or used by groups such as those participating in the London Olympics. These discussions are at a very early stage but these initiatives would bring revenue and tourism to Templemore. The backlog of in-service training will now commence and I want to compliment the management of the college who have put these in place. We have more gardai now that we had at the height of the troubles in Northern Ireland and we still have a strong and superbly trained force.” said Minister Shatter.

In conclusion, Deputy Coonan asked the Minister if extra patrol cars could be allocated to Templemore Garda Station as they currently have one small car to cover a huge area. Minister Shatter gave reassurances that he will raise the issue with the Garda Commissioner.

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