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Noel Coonan TD – Government To Review New Garda Recruitment

gardatrainingNoel Coonan TD today warmly welcomed positive news from his Fine Gael colleague, Justice Minister Alan Shatter, that the Government is now to review it’s position regarding the future recruitment of new Gardaí.

Deputy Coonan said this news comes following his most recent representations on this subject, with Government Chief Whip Paul Kehoe and with Minister Alan Shatter.

New Garda Recruitment On The Way

“Arising from most recent conversations with the Minister, I am informed that he intends to bring new proposals to Cabinet in the coming weeks and I will continue to lobby the Minister for new Garda Recruitment to resume as soon as is physically possible, for the Templemore, Co Tipperary Garda College” continued Deputy Coonan.

I was very disheartened to hear local Fianna Fáil and Independent Councillors speaking so negatively about the future of Templemore Garda College, stating that this excellent educational facility was about to close. This is totally untrue and a further example of their gross hypocrisy, as they use the issue for personal self-serving political gain. In fact it was this same Fianna Fáil/Independent Government who originally introduced these same policies, signing off on this deal with the Troika, thus gaining a reduction in Garda numbers & abandoning Garda recruitment since 2009. It is only through our careful management of economic policies that Fine Gael in Government has brought it to a point where recruitment can now be re-reconsidered,” stated Deputy Coonan.

Great credit is due to Superintendent Pat McCabe and the Management of the Garda College for the initiative they have shown and for bringing forward classes to keep the college busy,” said the local TD.

The local Fine Gael TD said Minister Alan Shatter decided to review the current situation in light of an estimated reduction in Garda numbers to just over 13,000 by the end of 2013.

Garda numbers have been reducing, due to the moratorium on recruitment put in place by the previous Government as part of its plan to reduce the strength of the force to 13,000. Our objective, despite the enormous financial pressures facing the Government is to ensure that Garda numbers will not fall below 13,000.  At Wednesday’s Cabinet Meeting, Minister Shatter announced the good news that recruitment may recommence as part of a wider determination to ensure that the Garda Síochána, as a body, has the greatest possible resources made available to it, and that it is supported in making the necessary new reforms to ensure that those resources are used to the greatest effect,“explained Deputy Coonan.

In this context, Minister Shatter has managed to secure a budget of €1.4 billion for the Garda Síochána for 2013, which includes separately a specific provision of some €5 million for new vehicles for the force. This now is in addition to the €4 million for vehicles that was already provided for, just last year.

As of 31st December 2012, the latest date for which figures are readily available, the total strength of the Garda force stood at 13,424 which is in fact, 74 Garda personnel more than the maximum figure of 13,350 proposed by the last outgoing Fianna Fáil/ Independent Government, in their National Recovery Plan for 2011-2014.

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