26 January 2015

Significant progress in civilianising Garda duties at Dublin Airport

    - 42 new recruits start public service careers in Immigration Service today as part of civilianisation of border control at Dublin Airport

    - Civilianisation of Garda duties at Dublin Airport to be completed this year

    Local TD Frances Fitzgerald, Minister for Justice and Equality, has welcomed an important development in the civilianisation of Garda functions at Dublin Airport. This morning 42 new recruits, who on completion of their training will be assigned to Dublin Airport on border control duties, started their public service careers with the Irish Naturalisation and Immigration Service of the Department of Justice and Equality.

    Minister Fitzgerald stated: “In September 2014, I announced a major programme to civilianise immigration functions currently undertaken by members of An Garda Síochána.”

    “I have set the civilianisation of work currently carried out by Gardaí at Dublin Airport as a key priority for the Immigration Service in 2015. The recruitment of 42 civilian immigration officers is a major milestone towards the full civilianisation of border duties at the Airport and releasing Gardaí for other core policing work."

    “As part of my focus on reforming policing in Ireland, this initiative is targeted at civilianising non–frontline Garda tasks to free Gardaí for core policing duties and to provide a visible policing service in our communities.”

    The Acting Secretary General of the Department of Justice and Equality, Noel Waters, met with the new recruits this morning and welcomed them to the Department. Wishing the new recruits every success in their careers in the civil service, the Secretary General spoke of the responsibilities of public service and of the importance of the work they would be carrying out in the public interest, especially in the context of ongoing reform and modernisation of the public sector.

    The Airport civilianisation programme will release some 75 Gardaí for other policing work, yielding approximately €4m savings annually.

    The 42 new recruits will now commence a comprehensive training programme in preparation for their new roles. Further assignments of civilian immigration officers will be made over the coming months to complete the civilianisation of border control at the Airport later this year. This will bring the total civilian immigration officers at the Airport to 80, including 16 civilians already assigned to border control duties.

    An Garda Síochána will continue to provide core policing functions at the Airport and support the civilian staff as appropriate.

    (Picture: RTE)