More people from ethnic minority backgrounds are applying to work as gardaí, figures for the most recent garda recruitment campaign indicate.
People describing themselves as “White Irish” accounted for 77 per cent of applications, down from 88 per cent in the last garda recruitment campaign in 2019.
Those who describe themselves as “Asian/Asian Irish” or “Black/Black Irish” made up 5 per cent of applications this time around, compared to 2% in 2019.
Ethnicity figures provided to The Irish Examiner by the Public Appointments Service show that the proportion of applications from Travellers rose slightly, while those from “Other White” fell.
The complete picture is not clear as 10 per cent of applicants gave no information on their ethnicity, compared to 2 per cent in 2019.
PAS figures show that women accounted for almost 40 per cent of all applications.
A total of 11,075 people applied to be student gardaí, compared to 5,197 in 2019. The Government has allocated funding for 800 recruits in 2022.
Garda Headquarters made it a priority in the campaign to encourage applications from minority communities in a bid to improve the force's very low levels of diversity.
Immigrant Council of Ireland chief executive Brian Killoran told The Irish Examiner: “The dedicated efforts of An Garda Síochána to ensure that their recruitment drive resulted in a higher level of interest from Ireland's diverse communities have clearly been successful.
“That Ireland continues to develop a police force which is reflective of the true nature of Irish society is of paramount importance.
“Hopefully, this clear demonstration of interest will translate into a more visible presence of diverse gardaí embedded in our communities in Ireland.”