Fianna Fáil Spokesperson on Justice and Equality, Jim O’ Callaghan has welcomed news that over 300 new Gardaí will be sworn in today as part of the special policing plan in response to the Covid-19 crisis.

There are now currently 14,758 Gardaí within the organisation, the largest number of sworn Gardaí in the history of the State.

Deputy O’Callaghan said: “We need as many members of An Garda Síochána as possible on our streets tackling crime, and protecting our citizens. A strengthened garda presence is critical for the safety of our communities during the current COVID-19 crisis.

“It is a historic day for An Garda Síochána to see the number of Gardaí increase to almost 15,000. All units are to be commended for the work they are doing during this on-going crisis and everyone has a role to play to make sure citizens remain safe.

“The newly attested Gardaí will play a vital role in the weeks ahead assisting in a range of measures including supporting public services across the country. Extra members of the force are to be deployed around businesses such as supermarkets and pharmacies to provide reassurance and support to business and the public.

“The fact that An Garda Síochána has taken these measures to increase visibility in communities will provide comfort and support to communities and businesses during the weeks ahead as the situation continues to change on a daily basis. I would like to remind the public to practice social distancing and assist Gardaí in any way possible during these testing times,” concluded Deputy O’Callaghan.