Dáil Éireann - Volume 633 - 06 March, 2007
Written Answers. - Garda Strength.
Mr. Quinn Mr. Quinn
 Mr. Quinn asked the Tánaiste and Minister for Justice, Equality and Law Reform the strength of the Garda force in Counties Laois and Offaly broken down by rank; the number of Garda Reserves in both Counties Laois and Offaly; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [8497/07]
Mr. McDowell Mr. McDowell
Mr. McDowell: I have been informed by the Garda authorities, who are responsible for the detailed allocation of resources, including personnel, that the personnel strength (all ranks) of An Garda Síochána increased to a record 13,000 following the attestation of 299 new members on Thursday, 16 November, 2006. This compares with a total strength of 10,702 (all ranks) as at 30 June, 1997 and represents an increase of 2,298 (or 21.5%) in the personnel strength of the Force during that period. The combined strength (all ranks), of both attested Gardaí and recruits in training as at the 31 December 2006 was 14,068. Furthermore, I should say that in December, 2006 as part of a package of anti-crime measures, the Government approved the continuation of the existing Garda recruitment programme to achieve a total Garda strength of 15,000. The accelerated intake of approximately 1100 new recruits per annum into the Garda College will continue until this target is met. The Garda Budget now stands at €1.4 billion, an 11% increase on 2006 and a 96% increase since 1997 in real terms.
I have been further informed by the Garda authorities that the personnel strength (all ranks) of the Laois/Offaly Garda Division on 31 December, 1997 and 1 March, 2007 was 274 and 291 respectively. This represents an increase of 17 (or 6.2%) in the number of personnel allocated since 31 December, 1997. The breakdown by rank of the Laois/Offaly Division on 1 March, 2007 was as set out in the table hereunder:
The Divisional boundaries do not correlate with the County boundaries. There are currently no Garda Reserve members deployed in the Laois/Offaly Division.
Dáil Éireann 633 Written Answers. Garda Strength.