I propose to take Questions Nos. 171 and 172 together.
An Garda Síochána has been allocated an unprecedented budget of €1.952 billion for 2021. This level of funding is enabling sustained, ongoing recruitment of Garda members and staff. As a result, Garda numbers are now some 14,600 Garda members and over 3,000 Garda staff nationwide. Budget 2021 will allow for the recruitment of up to 620 new Gardaí and an extra 500 Garda staff.
The Deputy will be aware that the Garda Commissioner is by law responsible for the management and administration of An Garda Síochána, including personnel matters and deployment of resources. The allocation of Garda resources is made in light of identified operational demand. This includes deployment of personnel among the various Garda Divisions. As Minister, I have no direct role in the matter.
I am assured, however, that Garda management keeps this distribution of resources under continual review in the context of policing priorities and crime trends, to ensure their optimum use. I understand that it is a matter for the Divisional Chief Superintendent to determine the optimum distribution of duties among the personnel available to him or her, having regard to the profile of each area within the Division and its specific needs.
I am advised by the Garda authorities that 7 Superintendents have served as District Officer in Ardee from the beginning of 2015 to date.
The table below, furnished to me by the Garda authorities, details the dates over the past five years when no Superintendent has been exclusively allocated to Ardee District:
12.04.2016 – 03.08.2016
13.04.2018 – 13.06.2018
31.01.2019 – 24.03.2019
08.10.2020 – present