Wednesday, 25 February 2009
Dáil Eireann Debate
68. Deputy Ruairí Quinn asked the Minister for Justice, Equality and Law Reform the extent to which the announcement of 3 February 2009 of expenditure savings of €2.1 billion will have an impact on Garda recruitment and Garda overtime in 2009; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [7602/09]
Minister for Justice, Equality and Law Reform (Deputy Dermot Ahern): In accordance with the Government Decisions on these matters, the related budgetary savings will fall to be achieved across the Justice Group of Votes, including on the Garda Vote in 2009. While the detail in relation to these and other budgetary matters is at an advanced stage, it would not be appropriate for me to comment further on their composition at this point, pending the finalisation of the Revised Estimate Volume which will be published next month. However, I can say that priority will continue to be given to resources, including overtime, for front-line policing duties.
Taking into account the number of recruits due to be attested this year and the expected number of departures, the attested strength of the Force will increase from 14,411 at the end of 2008 to approximately 14,900 at the end of this year. This will represent a historic high, in terms of Garda numbers. To stress this achievement it should be pointed out that the Deputy’s Party promised to reach the 15,000 Garda target in 2012. A total of 200 new recruits have been inducted into the Garda College in the past two quarterly intakes and calculations on the scale of future intakes will be made closer to the relevant time taking into account wider Government policy on the public service.
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