Garda to spend €4.5m on facilities for new members

Sum will be spent on classrooms and accommodation for 200 gardaí recruited this year

Up to 800 new gardaí are expected to be recruited this year, with plans for a further 3,200 to join the force over the next four years

Up to 800 new gardaí are expected to be recruited this year, with plans for a further 3,200 to join the force over the next four years

 

An Garda Síochána is set to spend €4.5 million on temporary classroom facilities and accommodation for 200 new members as it prepares for a major recruitment drive this year.

Up to 800 new gardaí are expected to be recruited this year, with plans for a further 3,200 to join the force over the next four years. About 200 gardaí will also receive training for deployment in specialist units in 2017.

Tenders have now been sought for the provision of 100 single-occupancy bedrooms within 30km of the Garda College in Templemore, Co Tipperary; and for a further 100 single-occupancy bedrooms close to Dublin city centre.

Classroom facilities will also be required in both locations for the delivery of training courses, according to the procurement documents.

The total cost of the accommodation and ancillary facilities for new recruits and gardaí undergoing training over a two-year period is estimated in the tender advertisement to be €4.5 million, plus VAT.

“An Garda Síochána has an ongoing weekly requirement for accommodation, up to 200 bedrooms on a single-occupancy basis with training/meeting room facilities to deliver a range of Garda training courses,” it states.

15,000 gardaí by 2021

The process is being managed for An Garda Síochána by the Office of Government Procurement. The window for the submission of tenders closes on February 17th.

Minister for Justice Frances Fitzgerald announced an accelerated recruitment programme last year, which is expected to see an intake of 800 trainees during 2017 and 3,200 more over the next four years.

The recruitment drive is designed to increase the strength of the force to 15,000 by 2021. Up to 500 civilians will also be hired by the Garda this year as part of a plan to deploy more gardaí to frontline duties.

The Garda College in Templemore closed in 2011 but reopened in 2014. Since then, 679 recruits have attested as members of the force and have been assigned to mainstream duties.

The college is the national centre for police training. Its facilities include four lecture theatres, 17 classrooms, IT training rooms, a mock courtroom, and a restaurant with a seating capacity for 400.

There is accommodation for 300 people on the eight-acre campus. An additional 240 acres of undeveloped land is available for tactical and operational training exercises.