Wednesday, 13 January 2021

Ceisteanna (736)

Catherine Murphy

Ceist:

736. Deputy Catherine Murphy asked the Minister for Justice the level of firearms training provided to armed Garda personnel in each of the years 2018 to 2020, inclusive, and to date in 2021; the number of gardaí by grade or rank with firearms training; the type of weapon they are trained to carry and or use; the company engaged to provide training; the cost of training on an annual basis; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [1809/21]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Justice)

The Deputy will appreciate that the Garda Commissioner is by law responsible for the management and administration of An Garda Síochána, including the training of its members and civilian staff. I, as Minister, have no direct role in the matter.

I am informed by the Garda authorities that firearms training is provided by Firearms Instructors attached to the Garda College and Special Tactics and Operations Command (S.T.O.C.) under the governance of the Director of Training, Garda College.

Members attached to regular units and Detective units are trained in handling handguns only, namely the Smith and Wesson revolver, the Sig Sauer P226 pistol and the Walther semi-automatic pistol.

Specialist Units such as the Emergency Response Unit and the Armed Support Unit are trained in handling the Sig Sauer pistol, H&K MP7 Sub-machine gun, Taser and 40mm direct impact munitions (Less Lethal options).

For the Deputy's information listed below are figures for attendance at firearms training in each of the years 2018, 2019 and 2020, and the number of members trained each year by rank.

Overall number of firearms training places taken up by members each year

2018

2019

2020

11,296

8,435

13,520

Number of members trained each year by rank*

Year

Garda

Sergeant

Inspector

Superintendent

Chief Supt

2018

9755

1439

82

14

6

2019

7247

1097

65

22

4

2020

11483

1876

130

25

6

*These figures refers to the number of members that attended firearms training. Some members have attended multiple firearms training courses.

Please note it is not possible to provide an overall cost of firearms training on an annual basis given that subsistence and travel expenses are borne by the Division of the member being trained, and to compile this information would involve a disproportionate expenditure of Garda resources.