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Minister McEntee Asks People To Consider Career in An Garda Síochána

Minister McEntee encourages people to think about career in An Garda Síochána ahead of new recruitment campaign.

  • Minister asks people in new Irish and minority communities to apply
  • New regulations remove requirement for applicants to be proficient in two languages
  • New Irish language strategy to be launched by An Garda Síochána
  • Vital that An Garda Síochána represents the Ireland of today

The Minister for Justice, Helen McEntee TD, has today urged people, especially those in minority and new Irish communities, to consider a career in An Garda Síochána ahead of a new recruitment campaign opening early in the New Year.

In line with the Government’s commitment to strengthen and support An Garda Síochána as it protects and serves our communities, a new Garda Trainee Recruitment campaign is due to commence early in 2022.

The last recruitment competition was held in early 2019. Successful applicants are placed on a panel from which they are drawn by An Garda Síochána for training when required by the Garda Commissioner.

The Government has next year committed to the recruitment of 800 extra Gardaí and 400 Garda staff and is dedicated to increasing diversity within An Garda Síochána.

Minister McEntee today urged people, particularly those from new Irish and minority communities, to think over the Christmas break about applying to become a member of An Garda Síochána.

Minister McEntee said:

“As Minister for Justice, protecting communities and supporting victims is my absolute priority, and the Government’s support for An Garda Síochána reflects that commitment.

The greatest strength of An Garda Síochána is its bond with the communities it serves. Our own national life has been greatly enriched by so many new communities of different origin in recent decades.
But significant work is still required across the public sector – not least the justice sector – to make sure our new and minority communities are better represented, as well as to improve gender equality.
I want everyone in our society, such as our African-Irish and Traveller communities, to see members of their own communities serving in An Garda Síochána.

I know Commissioner Harris and all members of An Garda Síochána are dedicated to increasing diversity within the organisation. I have discussed this with the Commissioner and I am very pleased that a vigorous campaign will be launched by An Garda Síochána to encourage as many people as possible to apply.
Our new recruitment campaign provides a great opportunity to increase diversity within the service and I urge people from these communities to seriously think over Christmas about applying in the New Year.”

The Commission on the future of Policing in Ireland noted that diversity is a vital asset to any organisation that seeks to be innovative and adaptable.

The Minister made her comments after she received Cabinet approval this week for new regulations which will allow An Garda Síochána hold the new recruitment competition.

These new Regulations, amending the Garda Síochána (Admissions and Appointments) Regulations 2013, will allow for a broader appeal for service with An Garda Síochána to reflect the increasing diversity of Irish Society.

In addition to technical amendments required to reflect changes in legislation from the Refugee Act 1996 to the International Protections Act 2015, the requirement for applicants to be proficient in two languages, one of which must be English or Irish, is also being changed.

As currently worded, the requirement for proficiency in two languages is acting as a barrier to more diverse recruitment.

Under the amended regulations, proficiency will only be required in one language – which can be English or Irish. This will remove any potential disadvantage for people not born in Ireland who do not have any experience with the Irish language.

An Garda Síochána remains committed to the Irish language and studies in the Irish language will remain part of the Policing BA. A new Irish Language Strategy has been developed by An Garda Síochána and will be launched early in 2022. The Strategy aims to strengthen Irish language services within An Garda Síochána and ensure compliance with statutory language obligations.

The Minister continued,

“I want these new regulations to send out a message and to encourage interest from all communities across Ireland in a career with An Garda Síochána. Of course, An Garda Síochána remains committed to the Irish language and I look forward to its new strategy.
I would also take this opportunity to encourage more women to apply for a career in An Garda Síochána.
In recent years we have made great strides to address the gender imbalance in An Garda Síochána, especially at the most senior levels, but I want to see more women entering the service, as I know they are fully capable and can make such a difference to their local community
“.

An Garda Síochána are working to produce a combined internal and external Equality, Diversity and Integration Strategy in early 2022.

Minister McEntee concluded,

“I welcome the many diversity initiatives being actively pursued by An Garda Síochána. The Intern Programme for Garda Staff, which aims to promote a career in An Garda Síochána among young people from communities traditionally underrepresented in the organisation by offering the opportunity of an internship, commenced on 30 November with the first 26 interns.
I am confident that this scheme will be a huge success and will demonstrate to all communities that there is a place for them in An Garda Síochána.”

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