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Retirement and recruitment age provisions in the Garda Force in Ireland may change

Dublin: There is a possibility that the conditions for retirement and recruitment of Garda members in Ireland will change. Justice Minister Helen McEntee also stated that the government’s recruitment of the Garda is not going as planned. The recruitment and retention of Garda officers, like that of nurses, has become a new source of concern for the government.

A report to the Policing Authority, prepared by the Garda Commissioner, also indicates that there will be a shortage of gardaí over the next ten years, with 2,500 gardaí expected to retire from the force by 2033.

Uncontrollable violence in Dublin city centre has become a major headache for the government. The fact that such incidents cannot be controlled due to the lack of time for Garda has become a political problem. Political parties, including Fianna Fail, have also demanded that the recruitment problems of the Garda should be resolved.

71 Gardai have already resigned from the force this year. In addition, 172 people have retired from service in the last six months. It is in this context that changes to the Garda recruitment rules are required. The government is seriously considering this issue.

The current law mandates retirement at the age of 60. Because of this, even those who want to work cannot continue in the service. Raising the retirement age to 62–63 would allow those who want to work to do so. Fianna Fail TD Jim O’Callaghan has called for a review of recruitment procedures and for those over the age of 35 to join the Garda. TD demanded that such measures be taken to increase the Garda force strength beyond 14,000.

The Minister for Justice has announced that €10 million will be set aside to boost Garda visibility in Dublin. This sum will be used to provide 240,000 more hours of Garda service and 20,000 more Garda shifts.

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