Garda recruitment campaign raises maximum age for applicants to 50

Garda Recruitment Campaign Raises Maximum Age For Applicants To 50
The new recruitment drive closes in February. Photo: PA Images
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Cillian Sherlock, PA

A new round of garda recruitment opened on Monday, increasing the maximum age for applicants from 35 to 50.

The allowance for trainee gardaí has also been increased from €184 to €305 per week.


A €400,000 advertising campaign for the recruitment competition is running across national and local media, online and social media – with efforts being made to target Irish people living in the UK, US, Canada, Australia and New Zealand.

In order to provide a steady pipeline of garda trainees over the coming years, it is intended that recruitment campaigns will run annually.

The last campaign, which closed in April 2023, received approximately 5,000 applications.


At the end of 2023, there were 13,998 gardaí in the service – more than 1,000 below the Government’s target of 15,000.

Garda Commissioner Drew Harris has said that target needs to be surpassed due to population growth and the changing nature of crime.


Mr Harris said: “Being a garda is a hugely rewarding but at times tough job. As a garda, you will make a real difference in people’s lives. You will effect positive change in communities. You will keep people safe. You will support victims. You will uphold the law.

“And, through this valued and exciting work you will see first-hand the impact your actions have on the ground. This is why being a garda is a job worth doing.”

An Garda Scott Medal Presentations
Garda Commissioner Drew Harris called for more applicants (Brian Lawless/PA)


Both the Government and Garda Commissioner have said they are committed to increasing diversity by ensuring that all communities in Irish society see themselves reflected in An Garda Síochana.

Mr Harris said: “Already, we have one of the highest proportion rates of female officers in Europe but we know there is more to do to meet our aim of being fully representative of the people we serve.

“That is why we are hoping to attract more candidates from diverse backgrounds as part of this campaign. We want, and need, people from all backgrounds and communities to be gardai.”

Minister for Justice Helen McEntee said the campaign would help ensure a “continuous pipeline of new trainees” into the Templemore training college, which stopped accepting applicants during the pandemic.


She said policing was being opened up as an option for a new cohort of people, bringing in a range of life and career experiences to the service.

Irish citizenship
Minister for Justice Helen McEntee said policing is a varied career (Niall Carson/PA)

Ms McEntee said: “As a Government, we allocated the highest ever budget of €2.3 billion to An Garda Síochána for 2024.

“That included funding for between 800 and 1,000 new gardaí, and I hope, and indeed expect, that there will be a strong response to this campaign.

“I encourage anyone who believes they can make a positive contribution as a garda to consider putting their name forward.

“Policing is a career in which no two days will be the same – it can be exciting, rewarding and undoubtedly challenging, but it offers a great opportunity to have a positive impact in the community and to be a part of a modern, inclusive police service that has the respect and trust of the Irish public.”

In 2023, 746 people commenced training with 388 gardaí attested.

The next group of gardaí to attest will be in April 2024.

Prospective candidates can visit for more information on how to apply. The closing date for the competition is 3pm on Thursday, February 8th.

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