Role of Templemore college in Irish policing under review

Acting Garda Commissioner says college ‘served us well’ despite financial issues

Graduates  at their passing out ceremony at the Garda College in Templemore. File photograph: Don Moloney

Graduates at their passing out ceremony at the Garda College in Templemore. File photograph: Don Moloney

 

The role, if any, the Garda College, Templemore, will play in Irish policing in future is under review by the Commission on the Future of Policing in Ireland, it has emerged.

In comments on Friday at a passing out ceremony for 181 new gardaí at the college, Minister for Justice Charlie Flanagan and Acting Garda Commissioner Dónall Ó Cualáin confirmed the college’s future formed part of the commission’s review process.

“I would expect over the course of their deliberations that they would look at the matter of education and training,” Mr Flanagan said.

“And I won’t be making any comment on the future of Templemore until such time as I hear from the commission.”

Mr Ó Cualáin said as far as he was concerned the college had “served us well”. However, both he and the rest of the Garda management team would make themselves available to the commission to discuss any issues around training and the college.

Of late the Garda College has been rocked by revelations of serious shortcomings with financial governance.

The problems were well known in the Garda for years but only emerged publicly in the last 12 months.

And with the wider Garda organisation under such pressure to reform, and become more open, the prospect of transferring basic Garda training out of Templemore and into a regular university has been mooted.

Proponents of such a move believe the fact young gardaí do not mix with civilians during large portions of their training represents a closed approach to their formative period in the Garda.

Also speaking at the Garda College on Friday, Deputy Commissioner John Twomey said the recent controversy around the inflating of breath tests had pointed to “behaviour” problems across the Garda. These were “unacceptable” and they had “disappointed” him as a senior officer.