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“Last Chance to Apply: Garda Recruitment Drive Offers Opportunity to Join Forces”

Dublin: Despite concerted efforts to bolster recruitment into the Garda Force, Ireland continues to grapple with significant reluctance among potential candidates. Government officials and Garda chiefs are striving to enhance the attractiveness of joining the force by raising the age limit and augmenting allowances. However, reports indicate that anticipated results have yet to materialise. Despite improved salaries, the issue is exacerbated by a higher number of departures than new entrants.

Last year, 388 trainees graduated from the Garda College, yet the number of resignations and retirements surpassed this figure, resulting in a net decrease of 135 individuals. The Garda membership dwindled from 14,133 at the beginning of 2023 to 13,998 by year-end, with an additional 17 members resigning this January.

The shortage of personnel has led to a substantial reduction in the number of Gardaí assigned to road policing units, with a deficit of approximately 632 members nationwide. This shortfall, except in Mayo, has been linked to a rise in road accident fatalities, reaching the highest level in a decade last year, with 188 casualties. The force’s predicament worsened with the closure of the Garda College due to the pandemic, halting recruitment and dropping the membership below 14,000 in 2020 from 14,750 in the previous year.

Garda Commissioner Drew Harris’s Policing Authority report reveals that while 746 new gardaí were trained at the Templemore college last year, only 388 new trainees joined the force. The commissioner notes 169 resignations and 319 retirements, with service extensions granted to 62 members, along with 23 others scheduled for retirement in 2023.

In a bid to address these challenges, the Garda recruitment campaign has expanded the age limit to 50 and increased the trainee allowance by 66 percent to €305 per week. Moreover, extensions for retiring gardaí have been facilitated. The government aims to bolster the force to 15,000 members, allocating €2.3 billion in the 2024 budget to An Garda Síochána, with expectations to enlist 1,000 new gardaí.

Instructions to potential candidates urge them to apply promptly through the publicjobs.ie portal before the deadline of 3 p.m. on February 8, 2024, to become a Garda Trainee and contribute to the enhancement of public safety.


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