100 applicants for every Garda job offered in new recruitment drive

Numbers entering race for first posts in five years reach 25,000

The latest recruitment drive to An Garda Siochana has attracted almost 100 applicants for every job being offered. Photograph: Alan Betson

The latest recruitment drive to An Garda Siochana has attracted almost 100 applicants for every job being offered. Photograph: Alan Betson

Fri, Jan 10, 2014, 17:58

The latest recruitment drive to An Garda Siochana has attracted almost 100 applicants for every job being offered.

Some 25,000 applicants have entered the race for the first tranche of 250 to 300 Garda jobs to be offered since 2009.

The application process closed at midnight last night, with the Department of Justice confirming the very high levels of interest to The Irish Times.

The public appointments service, which is running the recruitment drive, has already begun the process of narrowing down the field. The next rounds of the competition, including further online aptitude tests, interviews and physical condition and health checks, will take place in the coming months concluding by early summer.

The exact number of recruits to be taken into the Garda College, Templemore, Co Tipperary, has not been set out by Minister for Justice Alan Shatter.

Garda sources familiar with the recruitment process said the first class would enter the college in July and would most likely number at least 100 recruits. It will be the first class to enter the college for five years, with Garda recruitment ceased in 2009 as part of the public sector recruitment moratorium.

A further intake is expected before the end of the year, bringing the total numbers recruited this year to between 250 and 300.

The July date for the first intake is later than many in the force had anticipated and will mean the class will not be posted to Garda stations until February 2015 at the earliest.

The recruits will spend 32 weeks at the Garda College before being allocated to stations. They will have full Garda powers at that stage but must continue their training process for 72 weeks, which includes another short stint at the college.

On completing that period they will be awarded a BA in Applied Policing.

The delay in the first intake will mean Garda numbers will fall well below 13,000 by the time the recruits enter the college, with numbers currently at 13,100.

Garda Commissioner Martin Callinan has said repeatedly he did not want to see numbers fall below 13,000.