herald

Sunday 25 August 2019

New gardai being sent to tackle gang feuds to 'increase public safety'

Charlie Flanagan said garda numbers will hit 15,000 by 2021
Charlie Flanagan said garda numbers will hit 15,000 by 2021

More than four out of 10 new gardai who have now left the training college for service are being deployed to areas where gang violence is rife.

Justice Minister Charlie Flanagan has welcomed the addition of 201 new gardai, 28 of which will be posted to the division that includes Coolock and 27 to the division that includes Blanchardstown, both in Dublin.

A further 30 new gardai will now begin service in Drogheda, Co Louth, which is currently in the grips of a vicious drug feud.

"These newly attested members, who were already earmarked for these areas before the recent murders, will help strengthen the garda response to gang violence and increase public safety in their communities," said Mr Flanagan.

"Having visited Coolock Garda Station and local communities on Tuesday morning, I know how welcome these new members will be. In addition, as previously promised, 30 of the new members are being assigned to Drogheda."

He said garda numbers now stand at more than 14,000 and are on target to reach 15,000 by 2021.

Yesterday's attestation brings to 2,800 the number of new gardai that have been assigned to frontline policing duties nationwide since the reopening of the garda college in 2014.

Safely

A further 200 gardai will attest later this year.

"The role of visible, frontline community policing cannot be underestimated. These new recruits will provide high visibility policing that will ensure that ordinary people can go about their lawful business safely," said Mr Flanagan.

He also highlighted steps being taken by An Garda Siochana to ensure it is a more inclusive, diverse and modern organisation.

He said: "At the end of this month, gardai will participate for the first time, in uniform, in the Dublin Pride March. This is a significant step that demonstrates An Garda Siochana's commitment to building the inclusive Ireland we all want to see."

"This can be seen in the Commissioner's decision to make allowances for cultural differences in the garda uniform."

An increase of €110m in the garda budget will allow the sustained recruitment of 600 trainee gardai and 600 civilian garda staff this year.

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