The announcement of 600 new gardaí in Budget 2016 symbolises the Government’s commitment to increasing resources for an An Garda Síochána, according to Fine Gael TD for Longford-Westmeath Gabrielle McFadden.
The 600 new recruits are in addition to the 550 who have already started training since this Government reopened Templemore for new recruits. The present Government reopened the Garda College at Templemore in 2014, and Deputy McFadden says the budget allocation will ensure it will not close again.
She described the allocation as “a clear indication of the Government’s commitment to continuing Garda recruitment and to improving the resources available to those who do such valuable work in communities nationwide”.
The news of more Garda recruits comes in addition to the Capital Investment Plan, which announced investments of €875 million over the next six years going towards new Garda vehicles, ICT, refurbishment of Garda stations, a new forensic science laboratory, and upgraded courts.
“This funding will ensure that Gardaí have the necessary tools and manpower to tackle the scourge of highly mobile criminal gangs and to seek to disrupt crime in both rural and urban communities,” Deputy McFadden says. “Since 2012, the Government has invested €29 million in new Garda vehicles and 370 new vehicles have come on stream since the start of this year.
“This Budget is a positive one after what has been a very difficult time and it will contribute to a better resourced and better equipped Garda force. The last few Budgets have been hard, but they made it possible for Ireland to exit the bailout, reduce our debts, and move into a real recovery.”
Deputy McFadden says the top priority this year is to keep the recovery going in all parts of the country, while providing relief and better services. She called the Budget “affordable, responsible and consistent with the Government’s plan to eliminate Government borrowing by 2018 and to promote regional economic growth, jobs and future recovery”.