Written Answers. - Garda Recruitment.

Seymour Crawford

Ceist:

279 Mr. Crawford asked the Minister for Justice, Equality and Law Reform the age limit for persons to join the Garda; the reason for such an age limit; his views on whether a mature person of 30 or over could be a real asset to the force; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [2843/03]

The Garda Síochána (Admissions and Appointments) Regulations 1988, as amended, govern entry to the Garda Síochána and provide that applicants generally must be at least 18 and under 26 years on the first day of the month that the competition is advertised. The regulations provide for some extension to the upper age limit for applicants with certain specified service in the Defence Forces.

Section 37 of the Employment Equality Act, 1998 provides,inter alia, that those parts of the Act relating to discrimination on the age ground do not apply to employment in the Garda Síochána.

On 27 November, 2000, Council Directive 2000/78/EC was adopted establishing a general framework for equal treatment in employment and occupation. The implementation of the directive will have implications for the age provision of the Employment Equality Act, 1998. My Department is currently formulating legislative proposals to implement the Council Directive and any implications for admission to the Garda Síochána will be considered in that context.