There have been 28 new Gardaí assigned to the Northwestern region, headquartered in Galway, to assist in the enforcement of Level 5 COVID-19 restrictions.
The new officers for the region are a mix of 16 newly sworn trainees, and 12 Garda reserves who have undergone additional training.
The new sworn members of An Garda Síochána commenced their Garda training in May 2020, during the Covid-19 pandemic.
These members have undertaken a blend of on-line learning, on-site learning in the Garda College, and experiential learning in training Garda stations.
The Garda reserves have undergone training to prepare them to contribute to front-line policing including public compliance with health guidelines and regulations.
In addition, a re-deployment of uniform personnel from administrative roles to front-line operational duties took place over the last week.
Garda Commissioner Drew Harris said that throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, and extremely important part of their duties has been day-to-day engagement with the most vulnerable people in society.
“Often Gardaí have been people’s only interaction or contact, their only support. The newly attested Garda members and reserves will help support this work and that no one in need will feel as though they are dealing with this alone.”
While everyone has been encouraged to limit their interactions with others in this pandemic, this has been of particular importance in the case of older and more vulnerable people.
Many older and vulnerable people have been left isolated by the pandemic as a result of self-isolating, and travel restrictions during this lockdown, and the first, which may prevent family or other from travelling to them except in extreme circumstances.
And while much of the Irish economy has been shut down over the past year, crime has continued despite COVID-19 the Garda Commissioner said, praising the “dedication and professionalism” of the officers which has allowed An Garda Síochána to maintain its operational pace.
“At all times, Gardaí across the country have continued to focus on preventing and detecting criminality,” Commissioner Harris said.
The Garda headquarters for the Northwestern Region of Ireland is at Murrough in Galway City.
In total 71 new sworn members of An Garda Síochána are being deployed around the country, along with 69 reserve Garda members.
“Garda members regularly face dangerous, uncertain situations in order to assist and protect the public. It takes true mettle to come forward at a critical period in the country’s fight against this virus and be prepared to give it all to protecting the public from the frontline.”