Kildare South Fine Gael TD Martin Heydon has today (Friday) said that an allocation of 10 new Garda recruits to Co. Kildare is a further step in the right direction in improving Garda numbers in Kildare.

“As part of this Government’s continued focus on recruitment to an Garda Siochana 150 new Gardai passed out from Templemore yesterday. I am pleased that 10 of these new Gardai have been assigned to Co. Kildare with 5 coming to the Kildare for the South of the County and 5 to Kilcock.

“This Government is committed to ensuring a strong and visible police presence throughout the country in order to maintain and strengthen community engagement, provide reassurance to citizens and deter crime. To make this a reality, the Government has in place a plan to achieve an overall Garda workforce of 21,000 personnel by 2021 comprising 15,000 Garda members, 2,000 Reserve members and 4,000 civilians. In 2017, funding has been provided for the recruitment of 800 Garda recruits and up to 500 civilians to support the wide ranging reform plan in train in An Garda Síochána.”

“Taking account of projected retirements, reaching a strength of 15,000 will require some 3,200 new Garda members to be recruited on a phased basis over the next four years in addition to the 1,200 that will have been recruited by the end of this year since the reopening of the Garda College in September 2014. This is an ambitious target and will require a continuous pipeline of suitable candidates.”

“Since the reopening of the Garda College in 2014, 534 recruits have attested as members of An Garda Síochána and have been assigned to mainstream duties nationwide. 25 of these have already been assigned to the Kildare Division. The additional 150 new Gardai who passed out yesterday now bring Garda numbers close to 13,000 by the end of this year. “

“I continue to work with Minister Frances Fitzgerald to highlight the need for resources in Co. Kildare as the force continues to grow in strength.”