Fianna Fáil TD and Justice Spokesperson Jim O’Callaghan has said that a graduate recruitment programme should be established to improve collective knowledge and expertise in An Garda Siochána.
He commented, “An Garda Siochána contains many members who have pursued and obtained third level qualifications during their time in the force. These qualifications should benefit those members in seeking promotion through the force. Similarly, there are also many graduates not in the force who have qualifications in forensic accounting, IT, or psychology and who would like to seek employment in An Garda Siochána but are deterred because the degree they have earned is of no advantage when it comes to their recruitment and prospective promotion through the force.
“Any prospective programme of graduate recruitment should be compatible with and not offensive to the traditional form of recruitment. Graduates being recruited from outside the force should start at the same level as all other non-graduate entrants. However, the degree they possess should, if they satisfactorily complete the training at the Garda College, enable them, as in the UK, secure fast-track promotion into those specialised areas of the Garda Siochána.
“Such a change in Garda recruitment would encourage a wider selection of people to apply for employment in An Garda Siochána. We should also permit recruitment from other police forces at senior levels.
“There were over 20,000 applications to an Garda Siochána for 250-300 positions in 2014.The Government must do its utmost to nurture and protect that interest by widening access for graduates to pursue a career in the force.
“Broadening the method of recruitment in An Garda Siochána will assist in transforming and improving the force nationwide. There is a clear public benefit in An Garda Siochána seeking to attain excellence through greater professionalism and education”, concluded Deputy O’Callaghan.