The Minister has been informed by the Garda authorities who are responsible for the detailed allocation of resources including personnel that the last recruitment competition for entrance to the Garda Síochána was advertised in April 2003. The Civil Service Commission administered this competition on behalf of An Garda Síochána.
The commission received a total of 6,783 applicants, all of whom sat Stage 1, which consists of three written tests. Subsequently, from the written test, a total of 2,389 applicants were placed on a panel to undergo Stage 2, which includes a written communication exercise and a competitive interview. Stage 2 is currently ongoing.
No applicants to date from the 2003 competition have been admitted to the Garda college. It is expected that the first intake from the 2003 competition will be admitted to the Garda college on 26 April 2004.
No date has been fixed for a new recruitment competition. Recruitment to the Garda Síochána is governed by the Garda Síochána (Admission and Appointments) Regulations 1988 — 2001. These are statutory regulations and Regulation 5(1) (d) precludes the commissioner from allowing a person to be admitted as a garda trainee unless the person has before the first day of September in the year in which the said advertisement was so published, obtained a grade not lower than D in at least five subjects, including Irish, English and Mathematics, in the leaving certificate examination of the Department of Education and Science or in another examination which, in the opinion of the Minister, is of a standard not lower that the standard of that examination.
There are no proposals to change this regulation.