The Gardaí are in disarray with low recruitment figures, 71 resignations from the force already this year and 172 retiring in the first six months of 2023. Fianna Fáil TD Jim O’Callaghan reacted to this drain from the force by calling for the mandatory retirement age of 60 to be upwardly considered. He also wants to allow recruits over the age of 35 to join. “It’s not the only answer, but it’s a significant answer and that’s an important part of the solution” he told RTE News. Strangely, there was no mention of pay and conditions which were disseminated following the 2008 crash. His only suggested solution is of the “Dads Army” variety.
Pay and Conditions?
Justice Minister Helen McEntee whose income was raised several times in the intervening period admitted that Garda recruitment was not where the Government wanted it to be, saying she wished they were further ahead. The Department of Justice said a review of the Garda retirement age is already under way. Garda sergeants and inspectors have also called for the age to be increased to above 60. There was no mention of a review of pay and conditions. Almost 2,500 Gardaí will retire in the next ten years between now and 2033 based on their years of service.
Dads Army is No Solution
Safety on the streets has become something of a major headache for the Government following a series of violent incidents in Dublin city centre with tourists as well as locals being attacked and mugged by marauding gangs of thugs terrorising the city centre due to the absence of Gardaí. O’Callaghans “Dads Army” offers no solution and neither does Minister McEntee sticking plaster solution. McEntee announced €10 million to increase Garda visibility by providing for 240,000 extra Garda hours, or 20,000 extra Garda shifts, aimed at putting more Gardaí on Dublin City centre streets but that only suffices until the end of year. Its either more money, Dads Army or more lawlessness. The solution is obvious to everyone except the government.