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Written Answers - Garda Strength

Tuesday, 7 February 2012

Dáil Éireann Debate
Vol. 754 No. 3

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 95.  Deputy Martin Ferris Information on Martin Ferris Zoom on Martin Ferris  asked the Minister for Justice and Equality Information on Alan Shatter Zoom on Alan Shatter  if he has directed the Garda Commissioner on the issue of the reduction of personnel in the Garda Síochána; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [6534/12]

Minister for Justice and Equality (Deputy Alan Shatter): Information on Alan Shatter Zoom on Alan Shatter The strength of the Garda Síochána at the end of 2011 was just under 13,900, along with over 2,000 civilian support staff and over 800 Garda Reserve members.

I am informed by the Garda Authorities that the total number of Garda retirements from the Force in the first two months of this year is expected to be around 300. To put that figure into context, in 2009 the number of retirements was 722, in 2010 it was 362, and last year it was 436.

As the Deputy will be aware, these reductions form part of a wider programme aimed at reducing the size of the public service, and will contribute to reducing expenditure and complying with the terms of the EU-IMF agreement. Of course, what will ultimately determine the sustainable level of Garda numbers is the level of budgetary provision that can be made for the Force, and the House will be conscious that difficult decisions will continue to have to be made, right across the public sector, in order to bring our public finances back into balance.

[363]The Deputy will also be aware that the Commissioner, in consultation with his senior management team, is responsible for the detailed allocation of resources, including personnel, throughout the organisation.

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