Tuesday, 13 November 1973
Dáil Eireann Debate
Mr. Lemass: asked the Minister for Justice the progress that has been made in the new policy of sending members of the Garda Síochána to university; and whether only two applicants were selected from 50.
Mr. Cooney: As my predecessor explained in reply to a question on 12th December, 1972, the arrangements which apply in the Garda Síochána for the release of members  of the Force at public expense for higher-level education are identical with those applicable to other branches of the public service.
The object of the arrangements is to meet particular needs in the Force by providing training for specific posts requiring specialised knowledge, that is, training which cannot economically or adequately be provided as part of normal in-service training. Various other specialist courses are, of course, already provided for the Garda Síochána.
The needs of the Force in regard to specialised courses are primarily a matter for assessment by the Commissioner. I am informed by him that, for the present, these needs will be met, as far as specialised university courses are concerned, by sending two members on such courses. The two members concerned were selected from sixty-five applicants following the issue of a circular to the Force inviting applications for the two places. The matter will be reviewed in the light of experience.
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