Fine Gael Intercultural, the group representing new and migrant communities within the Party, has welcomed a push for increased diversity in Garda Síochána from Minister for Justice Helen McEntee.
They are encouraging members of new and migrant communities to consider a career in policing ahead of an upcoming Garda Training Recruitment Campaign.
Speaking after the announcement, Cllr Baby Pereppadan, a Fine Gael Councillor in Tallaght said:
“A more diverse police force will be properly representative of Irish society and will be positive for everyone as good policing depends on Gardaí being close knit with all the communities they serve.
“Fine Gael in Government is making changes to ensure more people from a diverse range of communities can apply to An Garda Síochána’s training programme. I commend Minister McEntee for this forward thinking and progressive move for Irish policing.”
The new Regulations, amending the Garda Síochána (Admissions and Appointments) Regulations 2013, will allow for a broader appeal for service with An Garda Síochána to reflect the increasing diversity of Irish Society.
There will now be a requirement to be proficient in just one language – English or Irish – instead of two languages, one of which mush be Irish or English, as is currently the case.
Cllr Pereppadan continued, “We in Fine Gael Intercultural encourage members of new and migrant communities to consider a career in An Garda Síochána. This will be a real possibility for many with the removal of the current requirement to be proficient in two languages, one of which has to Irish or English.
“The new Garda Trainee Recruitment campaign will open early in the New Year and we will be spreading the word among our networks.”
The Government has next year committed to the recruitment of 800 extra Gardaí and 400 Garda staff and is dedicated to increasing diversity within An Garda Síochána.
Minister McEntee added: “The greatest strength of An Garda Síochána is its bond with the communities it serves. Our own national life has been greatly enriched by so many new communities of different origin in recent decades.
“But significant work is still required across the public sector – not least the justice sector – to make sure our new and minority communities are better represented, as well as to improve gender equality.
“I want everyone in our society, such as our African-Irish and Traveller communities, to see members of their own communities serving in An Garda Síochána.
“Our new recruitment campaign provides a great opportunity to increase diversity within the service and I urge people from these communities to seriously think over Christmas about applying in the New Year.”
“I would also take this opportunity to encourage more women to apply for a career in An Garda Síochána. In recent years we have made great strides to address the gender imbalance in An Garda Síochána, especially at the most senior levels, but I want to see more women entering the service, as I know they are fully capable and can make such a difference to their local community.”