Five Offaly natives officially became members of An Garda Síochána last week following their passing out parade in Templemore.
Tullamore is home to four of the five, with three of the county's newly graduated officers being posted to Drogheda in Co Louth, which has been in the headlines recently for an upsurge of incidents relating to a local feud. Tullamore's Emma Kilroe and Ross O'Connor, along with Shauna Brewer from Daingean, are posted to the Louth border town, while William Clavin and Shane McDermott, both from Tullamore, head to Sligo and Carrickmacross in county Monaghan respectively.
There is also good news for Tullamore Garda Station who will get four new officers from the latest tranche of graduates, it's emerged. Portlaoise is the other station in Laois/Offaly to benefit with three new officers to be posted there in the coming weeks. The Minister for Justice and Equality, Charlie Flanagan welcomed the addition of 199 new members to An Garda Síochána last week. He had this message for the new officers: “You are entering An Garda Síochána at a pivotal time in the history of the organisation. As the first class to attest since the publication of the Commission on the Future of Policing Report, you are in a very special position. You are the new generation, entering the service at a time of renewed focus. This is both a challenge and a privilege. To answer this call to vocation – to protect and to serve – is a commendable decision, and I thank each of you for answering that call”.
The ceremony was attended by An Taoiseach Leo Varadkar and Garda Commissioner Drew Harris. This is the fourth graduation to have taken place this year and brings the number of new recruits assigned to mainstream policing duties around the country this year to approximately 800.
It is expected that Garda numbers will increase to approximately 14,000 by the end of 2018, according to the Department of Justice.