State Examinations Appeals

Ceisteanna (179)

Thomas Byrne

Ceist:

179. Deputy Thomas Byrne asked the Minister for Education and Skills the number of students that appealed their leaving certificate results and attained a higher mark in 2017, 2018 and 2019; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [38747/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Education)

The State Examinations Commission has statutory responsibility for operational matters relating to the certificate examinations. In view of this I have forwarded your query to the State Examinations Commission for direct reply to you.

State Examinations Appeals

Ceisteanna (180)

Thomas Byrne

Ceist:

180. Deputy Thomas Byrne asked the Minister for Education and Skills the number of students that appealed their leaving certificate results in 2017, 2018 and 2019. [38748/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Education)

The State Examinations Commission has statutory responsibility for operational matters relating to the certificate examinations. In view of this I have forwarded your query to the State Examinations Commission for direct reply to you.

Special Educational Needs Staff

Ceisteanna (181)

Richard Boyd Barrett

Ceist:

181. Deputy Richard Boyd Barrett asked the Minister for Education and Skills the reason a school (details supplied) has inadequate provision of special needs assistants for the 2019-2020 academic year; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [38755/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Education)

The National Council for Special Education (NCSE) is responsible for allocating a quantum of Special Needs Assistant (SNA) support for each school annually taking into account the assessed care needs of children qualifying for SNA support enrolled in the school.

The NCSE allocates SNA support to schools in accordance with the criteria set out in Department Circular 0030/2014, which is available on my Department's website at www.education.ie, in order that students who have care needs can access SNA support as and when it is needed.

In considering applications for SNA support for individual pupils, the NCSE take account of the pupils' needs and consider the resources available to the school to identify whether additionality is needed or whether the school might reasonably be expected to meet the needs of the pupils from its current level of resources.

SNAs are not allocated to individual children but to schools as a school based resource.

SNA allocations to all schools can change from year to year as children with care needs leave the school, as new children with care needs enrol in a school and as children develop more independent living skills and their care needs diminish over time.

The NCSE Appeals Process may be invoked by a parent or a school where it is considered that a child was not granted access to SNA support because the requirements outlined in Circular 0030/2014 were not complied with. Schools may also appeal a decision, where the school considers that the NCSE, in applying Department policy, has not allocated the appropriate level of SNA support to the school to meet the special educational and/or care needs of the children concerned.

Where a school has received its allocation of SNA support for 2019/20, but wishes new enrolments or assessments to be considered, which were not taken into account when the initial allocation was made, they may continue to make applications to the NCSE.

The closing date for receipt of appeals in regard to SNA allocations is Friday 27th September 2019.

As this question relates to a particular school, I have referred the question to the NCSE for their direct reply. I do not have a role in making determinations in individual cases.

Schools Site Acquisitions

Ceisteanna (182)

Richard Boyd Barrett

Ceist:

182. Deputy Richard Boyd Barrett asked the Minister for Education and Skills the status of plans for a permanent location for a school (details supplied); and if he will make a statement on the matter. [38756/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Education)

I am pleased to inform the Deputy that good progress has been made in determining the permanent site location for the school to which he refers. My Department has assessed various site options and has narrowed down its search to one site. Officials are in active engagement with the owner of this site.

The location will be confirmed as soon as it is possible to do so.

Departmental Properties

Ceisteanna (183)

Richard Boyd Barrett

Ceist:

183. Deputy Richard Boyd Barrett asked the Minister for Education and Skills his plans for a building (details supplied) which is owned by his Department in view of the need for a permanent location for schools; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [38757/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Education)

The property to which the Deputy refers is in the ownership of Dublin Dun Laoghaire ETB. Its suitability for the provision of school accommodation has been assessed and it was determined that the property did not provide a viable solution.

On that basis my Department approved a proposal from the ETB to dispose of the property.

Schools Establishment

Ceisteanna (184)

Richard Boyd Barrett

Ceist:

184. Deputy Richard Boyd Barrett asked the Minister for Education and Skills the number of new schools planned in the Dún Laoghaire area in the coming years; the patrons of these schools; the sites and or buildings under consideration for the schools; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [38758/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Education)

As the Deputy will be aware, the Government announced plans in April 2018 for the establishment of 42 new schools over the next four years (2019 to 2022) including a new 1,000 pupil post-primary school to be established in September 2021 to serve the Booterstown, Blackrock & Dun Laoghaire school planning areas as a regional solution.

This announcement follows nationwide, demographic exercises carried out by my Department into the future need for primary and post-primary schools across the country.

A patronage process is run after it has been decided, based on demographic analysis, that a new school is required. This patronage process is open to all patron bodies and prospective patrons. Parental preferences for each patron, from parents of children who reside in the school planning areas concerned, together with the extent of diversity currently available in these areas, are key to decisions in relation to the outcome of this process.

The Online Patronage Process System (OPPS) has been developed by my Department to provide objective information to parents and guardians which will allow them to make an informed choice in expressing a preference for their preferred model of patronage for their child’s education.

The patronage process for new schools is overseen by an external independent advisory group, the New Schools Establishment Group (NSEG). Following their consideration of my Department’s assessment reports, the NSEG will submit a report with recommendations to me for consideration and final decision. The assessment reports and the NSEG recommendations for all such patronage processes are made available on my Department's website.

The patronage process for the new schools to be established in 2021, including the new post-primary school to serve the Booterstown_Blackrock & Dunlaoghaire school planning areas, will be run next year. Updates in relation to further patronage processes will be announced on the OPPS website and the Department’s website (www.education.ie).

My Department is currently identifying site options for the new school and a determination regarding the permanent location for the school will be made as soon as possible.

Special Educational Needs Staff

Ceisteanna (185)

Richard Boyd Barrett

Ceist:

185. Deputy Richard Boyd Barrett asked the Minister for Education and Skills the method of calculation of special needs assistant allocation for schools; the way in which children that are still awaiting an assessment of needs can be catered for in cases in which they have no formal diagnosis but a clear need; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [38759/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Education)

The National Council for Special Education (NCSE) is responsible for allocating a quantum of Special Needs Assistant (SNA) support for each school annually taking into account the assessed care needs of children qualifying for SNA support enrolled in the school.

The NCSE allocates SNA support to schools in accordance with the criteria set out in Department Circular 0030/2014, which is available on my Department's website at www.education.ie , in order that students who have care needs can access SNA support as and when it is needed.

In considering applications for SNA support for individual pupils, the NCSE take account of the pupils' needs and consider the resources available to the school to identify whether additionality is needed or whether the school might reasonably be expected to meet the needs of the pupils from its current level of resources.

SNAs are not allocated to individual children but to schools as a school based resource.

SNA allocations to all schools can change from year to year as children with care needs leave the school, as new children with care needs enrol in a school and as children develop more independent living skills and their care needs diminish over time.

The NCSE Appeals Process may be invoked by a parent or a school where it is considered that a child was not granted access to SNA support because the requirements outlined in Circular 0030/2014 were not complied with. Schools may also appeal a decision, where the school considers that the NCSE, in applying Department policy, has not allocated the appropriate level of SNA support to the school to meet the special educational and/or care needs of the children concerned.

Where a school has received its allocation of SNA support for 2019/20, but wishes new enrolments or assessments to be considered, which were not taken into account when the initial allocation was made, they may continue to make applications to the NCSE.

The closing date for receipt of appeals in regard to SNA allocations is Friday 27th September 2019.

On 27th March I announced the trialling of the School Inclusion Model, a new model of support for students with special educational and additional care needs, which is being piloted in 75 schools in the Kildare/Wicklow/South Dublin region in the current school year.

The School Inclusion Model aims to build schools’ capacity and to provide the right supports at the right time for students with additional needs.

One element of this pilot is frontloading SNA support to schools, similar to the approach taken with the Special Education Teacher allocation model introduced to schools in 2017. This new SNA allocation model removes the need for a formal diagnosis for access to SNA support and is an important step towards a needs based model of support.

The pilot also provides an opportunity for review and evaluation of proposals to ensure we are providing the most effective and efficient service to those requiring additional support.

School Services Staff

Ceisteanna (186)

John Curran

Ceist:

186. Deputy John Curran asked the Minister for Education and Skills his plans to end pay injustice facing school secretaries; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [38783/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Education)

I recognise the very important work done by these staff, and the other support staff in the running of our schools. I have spoken to a number of school secretaries about their employment conditions and understand the issues they have raised.

Earlier this year I relaxed the moratorium for those C&C and ETB schools with enrolments of 700 and more which allow them to employ additional school secretaries up to a maximum of two per school. There are 91 schools in the C&C and ETB Sector who meet this criteria, based on the information currently available to this Department. This is an initial step and has taken immediate effect.

Schemes were initiated in 1978 and 1979 for the employment of clerical officers and caretakers in schools. The schemes were withdrawn completely in 2008. These schemes have been superseded by the more extensive capitation grant schemes. The current grant scheme was agreed in the context of the Programme for Economic and Social Progress, published in 1991.

The majority of primary and voluntary secondary schools now receive assistance to provide for secretarial, caretaking and cleaning services under these grant schemes. It is a matter for each individual school to decide how best to apply the grant funding to suit its particular needs. Where a school uses the grant funding for caretaking or secretarial purposes, any staff taken on to support those functions are employees of individual schools. Specific responsibility for the pay and conditions rests with the school.

On foot of a Chairman’s Note to the Lansdowne Road Agreement, my Department engaged with the Unions representing school secretaries and caretakers, including through an independent arbitration process in 2015. The Arbitrator recommended a cumulative pay increase of 10% between 2016 and 2019 for staff and that a minimum hourly pay rate of €13 be phased in over that period. This arbitration agreement covers the period up to 31 December 2019.

The arbitration agreement was designed to be of greatest benefit to lower-paid secretaries and caretakers. For example, a secretary or caretaker who was paid the then minimum wage of €8.65 per hour in 2015 prior to the arbitration has from 1 January 2019, been paid €13 per hour which is a 50% increase in that individual’s hourly pay.

Officials from my Department attended a meeting of the Joint Committee on Education and Skills on the 9th of April to discuss the status of non-teaching staff.

In May this year officials from my Department had discussions with FÓRSA trade union representatives as part of a planned meeting. FÓRSA took the opportunity to formally table a pay claim.

This was tabled as a follow-on claim from the current pay agreement for this cohort of staff which lasts until December 2019. The Department issued surveys on the 10th of July to establish the full current cost of the trade union’s claim. This is standard practice.

FÓRSA's claim will be fully considered once the current costings have been determined on completion of the survey analysis.

Officials from my Department met with FÓRSA representatives last week. Management Bodies representing the employers of schools impacted by the action were also in attendance at the meeting. The purpose of the meeting was to further explore the details of the pay claim as presented by FÓRSA and the nature of the industrial action.

In these circumstances the industrial action by FÓRSA members is considered premature, not least because the period of the current arbitration agreement has not expired. My officials are fully open to having further dialogue with FÓRSA once the survey work has been undertaken.

Schools Building Projects

Ceisteanna (187)

John Curran

Ceist:

187. Deputy John Curran asked the Minister for Education and Skills the steps he will take to address the delays being experienced by his Department to progress its school building projects beyond stage 2B; if the process will be reviewed; if the relevant actions that can be taken to rapidly progress the projects and the timeframe for these projects will be taken; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [38786/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Education)

Stage 2(b) Detailed Design is arguably the most complex and detailed of all the stages in Architectural Planning. In addition to securing the necessary statutory approvals it also includes the preparation of complex and detailed tender documents. In completing Stage 2(b), Design Teams are now required to upgrade design details to ensure that new school buildings are Near Zero Energy Buildings (NZEB) in compliance with the 2017 amendment to Part L of the current Building Regulations. In many cases this has involved a second planning application to allow for the installation of photovoltaic panels on the roof following receipt of the initial planning permission.

The Deputy will appreciate that all major school building projects under the Department’s Construction Programme are progressed through the various stages of architectural planning in accordance with the Department’s Design Team Procedures, Building Control Regulations and Public Works Contract requirements and that as the funding is exchequer funding the process and costs associated with any major project must be fully accounted for.

Design Teams must therefore be diligent in their preparation of the Stage 2(b) tender documentation in order to satisfy all regulatory bodies and my Department's Design Team Procedures. This results in minimising delays during further stages of the project.

Over the past year, some school building projects have undergone a longer than normal Stage 2b process. This can be due to a complicated or detailed planning application, appeals to An Bord Pleanála, complications around decant arrangements or issues relating to the site.

In addition, since November 2018, a number of competitions to pre-qualify suitable and competent building contractors have been challenged in the High Court leading to the need to completely redraft the procedures and processes involved in pre-qualification. This has impacted over the past few months on projects which were not themselves subject to a direct challenge. However, having implemented the revised procedures, my Department has moved proactively to reduce the risk of Stage 2b projects at present and in the future being further delayed by legal challenge.

My Department also regularly reviews and updates it's suite of guidance and design advice documents which are available to schools and design teams through the Departments web-site. The most recent updates to these documents was in May when revised Guidance on Procurement of Contractors was published and in April when the guidance on Procuring Construction Contractors was revised.

Emergency Works Scheme Applications

Ceisteanna (188)

Niall Collins

Ceist:

188. Deputy Niall Collins asked the Minister for Education and Skills the status of an emergency works application by a school (details supplied) regarding a replacement boiler that is urgently needed; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [38791/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Education)

I am pleased to inform the Deputy that the school to which he refers has been approved funding in respect of the request submitted.

School Transport

Ceisteanna (189, 190, 191, 192)

Bobby Aylward

Ceist:

189. Deputy Bobby Aylward asked the Minister for Education and Skills if the possibility of utilising the recently announced €1 million funding for school transport to provide additional bus capacity for approximately 11 concessionary children (details supplied) in Knockmoylan and Ballyhale, County Kilkenny, who have been left without a seat will be investigated; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [38809/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Bobby Aylward

Ceist:

190. Deputy Bobby Aylward asked the Minister for Education and Skills if the possibility of utilising the recently announced €1 million funding for school transport to provide additional bus capacity for approximately 12 concessionary children (details supplied) in Mullinavat, County Kilkenny, who have been left without a seat will be investigated; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [38810/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Bobby Aylward

Ceist:

191. Deputy Bobby Aylward asked the Minister for Education and Skills if the possibility of utilising the recently announced €1 million funding for school transport to provide additional bus capacity for approximately seven concessionary children (details supplied) in County Kilkenny will be investigated; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [38811/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Bobby Aylward

Ceist:

192. Deputy Bobby Aylward asked the Minister for Education and Skills if the possibility of utilising the recently announced €1 million funding for school transport to provide additional bus capacity for approximately 13 concessionary children (details supplied) in County Kilkenny will be investigated; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [38812/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Education)

I propose to take Questions Nos. 189 to 192, inclusive, together.

School transport is a significant operation managed by Bus Éireann on behalf of the Department of Education and Skills. In the 2018/19 school year there were over 117,500 children, including over 13,000 children with special educational needs, transported in over 5,000 vehicles on a daily basis to primary and post-primary schools throughout the country covering over 100 million kilometres annually at a cost of over €200m in 2018.

The purpose of the School Transport Scheme is, having regard to available resources, to support the transport to and from school of children who reside remote from their nearest school. Children are generally eligible for school transport if they satisfy the distance criteria and are attending their nearest school as determined by the Department/Bus Éireann, having regard to ethos and language.

Minister McHugh has recently sanctioned an additional €1m on the school transport budget to allow for temporary alleviation measures to address a shortage of school transport capacity on the post primary scheme in 2019. The cost of these measures is being given to those areas where there is a significant concentration of post-primary children who have paid on time for the 2019/2020 school year and who are attending their second closest school. A number of measures have been confirmed to alleviate some of the capacity issues in the areas of highest demand in some parts of the country.

With regard to the provision of transport for the current school year, Bus Éireann continues to work with the Department of Education and Skills to process applications and design routes to ensure that all eligible pupils who paid on time are facilitated with school transport. In doing this they are endeavouring to facilitate as many concessionary pupils as possible where capacity exists.

Parents are advised to contact their local Bus Éireann office should they have specific queries in regard to capacity on various routes.

Autism Support Services

Ceisteanna (193)

Margaret Murphy O'Mahony

Ceist:

193. Deputy Margaret Murphy O'Mahony asked the Minister for Education and Skills the system being put in place in order to school twin brothers with autism (details supplied); if a system will be put in place by which they may be home schooled in the event that the schools are not available; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [38857/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Education)

The policy of this Department is that all children with Special Educational Needs, including those with Autism, can have access to an education appropriate to their needs, preferably in school settings through the primary and post primary school network.

Such placements facilitate access to individualised education programmes which may draw from a range of appropriate educational interventions, delivered by fully qualified professional teachers, with the support of Special Needs Assistants and the appropriate school curriculum.

This policy has been informed by published research, including the Report of the Task Force on Autism (2001), the Evaluation of Educational Provision for Children with Autistic Spectrum Disorders (ASD) (2006) and National Council for Special Education (NCSE) policy advice on Supporting Students with Autism Spectrum Disorder (2016).

The National Council for Special Education (NCSE) has a statutory function to plan and co-ordinate the provision of education and support services to children with special educational needs. This includes the establishment of special class and special school placements in various geographical areas where the NCSE identifies need.

The NCSE works with families and schools to ensure that advance planning is in place so that schools in an area can, between them, cater for all children who have been identified as needing special class placements.

Where there is no suitable placement available for a child with Special Educational Needs, Home Tuition Grant funding to provide a compensatory educational service for their child. The availability of a suitable school placement is assessed by the NCSE having regard to, although not limited to, the relevant diagnosis and relevant professional reports.

By its nature, the grant is intended to be a short term intervention and should not be regarded as an optional alternative to a school placement.

The Home Tuition grant will not available where the NCSE confirm that an available placement has been identified to Parents. Failure to enrol a child in an identified placement will not give rise to eligibility under the scheme.

The NCSE has been requested to review the circumstances of this case and engage with the family directly regarding the childrens educational needs.

Schools Building Projects Status

Ceisteanna (194)

Róisín Shortall

Ceist:

194. Deputy Róisín Shortall asked the Minister for Education and Skills the status of the completion of footpaths and pedestrianised crossings at a school (details supplied); the reason for the delay in the ESB carrying out necessary works to allow the contractor to complete the works; the role of his Department in this; if his Department is the client that must apply for ESB unmetered connections to help facilitate ESB completion of said works; and if not, his plans to deal with these continuing delays. [38899/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Education)

A new 12-classroom school for the school referred to by the Deputy was opened in September 2018. The Board of Management for the school in question was the Contracting Authority for the building project.

Officials from my Department's Planning & Building Unit have been in contact with the School seeking information in relation to the ongoing issues referred to by the deputy. On receipt of information from the school and its Design Team the matter will be considered further.

Housing Assistance Payment Eligibility

Ceisteanna (195)

Gino Kenny

Ceist:

195. Deputy Gino Kenny asked the Minister for Justice and Equality if a housing assistance payment is assessed as means when eligibility for free legal aid is being examined; his views on an applicant being denied free legal aid in cases in which their HAP takes them over the income limit; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [38400/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Justice)

The financial eligibility criteria for legal aid are set out in the Civil Legal Aid Regulations 1996 to 2017. The current position is that, in principle, all income received by an applicant for legal aid is liable to be treated as income. Any exceptions are specifically detailed in the Regulations. The Legal Aid Board has advised me that it gave careful consideration to the matter of HAP and concluded that it had to treat HAP as a form of income.

I am advised by the Legal Aid Board that some applicants are in receipt of significant HAP payments due to high rent levels, particularly in Dublin. This may affect applicants' financial eligibility for civil legal aid.

The Legal Aid Board has made a submission to my Department regarding financial eligibility for civil legal aid and advice generally. This includes a proposal on the treatment of HAP for financial eligibility purposes. This proposal is being examined by my Department. However, it should be borne in mind that any alterations to eligibility limits would have resourcing implications for the Board. Furthermore, any proposed changes to the rules pertaining to eligibility would not only require my approval but also the consent of my colleague, the Minister for Public Expenditure and Reform.

Road Traffic Accidents Data

Ceisteanna (196)

Seán Sherlock

Ceist:

196. Deputy Sean Sherlock asked the Minister for Justice and Equality the number of road traffic accidents recorded in each of the years 2017, 2018 and to date in 2019 on the Cork to Limerick road. [38433/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Justice)

I have sought a report from the Garda authorities in relation to this matter and I will write directly to the Deputy when I receive the requested information.

Garda Expenditure

Ceisteanna (197)

David Cullinane

Ceist:

197. Deputy David Cullinane asked the Minister for Justice and Equality the yearly wage cost of a whole-time digital forensic specialist. [38678/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Justice)

There has been an unprecedented level of investment in An Garda Síochána in recent years. The budgetary allocation to An Garda Síochána for 2019 amounts to €1.76 billion. Very significant capital investment is also being made in Garda ICT, the Garda fleet and the Garda estate. In total, the Garda capital allocation has increased from €61 million to €92 million in 2019, which represents a 50% increase.

I would also point out that An Garda Síochána is a growing organisation. We currently have over 14,200 Gardaí nationwide, supported by over 2,700 Garda staff. As part of the Government’s plan to achieve an overall Garda workforce of 21,000 personnel by 2021, there is ongoing and increased recruitment both of new Gardaí as well as Garda staff, allowing for redeployment of Gardaí to operational duties at the front-line.

This continuing investment in people and capital demonstrates the Government’s commitment to ensuring a strong and visible police presence throughout the country to maintain and strengthen community engagement, provide reassurance to citizens and deter crime.

In accordance with the Garda Síochána Act 2005, as amended, the Garda Commissioner is responsible for managing and controlling the administration and business of An Garda Síochána, including the training of its members and Garda staff. The Commissioner is also responsible for the effective and efficient use of the resources available to An Garda Síochána, in light of identified operational demands.

I am informed by the Garda authorities that they have not yet reached the point of recruiting digital forensic specialists for An Garda Síochána. As such, I am informed that it is not possible to quantify the costs which might arise in relation to any such possible future post.

Garda Expenditure

Ceisteanna (198, 199)

David Cullinane

Ceist:

198. Deputy David Cullinane asked the Minister for Justice and Equality the yearly wage cost of a whole-time Garda Síochána detective sergeant. [38688/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

David Cullinane

Ceist:

199. Deputy David Cullinane asked the Minister for Justice and Equality the yearly wage cost of a whole-time Garda Síochána detective. [38689/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Justice)

I propose to take Questions Nos. 198 and 199 together.

There has been an unprecedented level of investment in An Garda Síochána in recent years. The budgetary allocation to An Garda Síochána for 2019 amounts to €1.76 billion. Very significant capital investment is also being made in Garda ICT, the Garda fleet and the Garda estate. In total, the Garda capital allocation has increased from €61 million to €92 million in 2019, which represents a 50% increase.

And I would also point out that An Garda Síochána is a growing organisation. We currently have over 14,200 Gardaí nationwide, supported by over 2,700 Garda staff. And as part of the Government’s plan to achieve an overall Garda workforce of 21,000 personnel by 2021, there is ongoing and increased recruitment both of new Gardaí as well as Garda staff, allowing for redeployment of Gardaí to operational duties at the front-line.

This continuing investment in people and capital supports the Government’s commitment to ensuring a strong and visible police presence throughout the country to maintain and strengthen community engagement, provide reassurance to citizens and deter crime.

In accordance with the Garda Síochána Act 2005, as amended, the Garda Commissioner is responsible for managing and controlling the administration and business of An Garda Síochána, including the training of its members and Garda staff. The Commissioner is also responsible for the effective and efficient use of the resources available to An Garda Síochána, in light of identified operational demands.

I am informed by the Garda authorities that the current yearly wage cost of a whole-time Garda Síochána Detective Sergeant is €70,391. I am further informed that the current yearly wage cost of a whole-time Garda Síochána Detective Garda is €59,822. I am informed that these salary costs have been calculated using the midpoint of the current (September 2019) Garda Salary scale and include fixed allowances to which members are entitled. An estimate of Employer’s PRSI at a rate of 10.95% is also included in the estimated cost. Allowances for unsocial hours and any potential overtime payments in excess of standard briefing time are not included in this estimate.