Sinn Féin Justice spokesperson Martin Kenny TD has responded to reports of a rise in the Garda overtime bill for the third consecutive year.
Speaking today, Teachta Kenny said:
“While I’m sure the spend may seem astronomical to people, especially in the middle of a cost-of-living- crisis, this overtime bill is the reality of a recruitment and retention crisis within An Garda Síochána.
“We are seeing more gardai than ever before resigning from the force. Gardai tell me they feel demoralised and under significant pressure due to a constant flow of resignations.
“More than 100 Gardai resigned alone last year, which is more than the numbers trained in Templemore in 2022.
“Figures released to Newstalk show that in 2020, the overtime costs stood at €99 million. In 2021 the bill rose to €114 million, and now stands at €130 million for 2022. The fact that their overtime bill has again risen by a third is just a symptom of the recruitment and retention problem – basic policing duties must be met and there are not enough Gardaí to go around.
“We simply do not have enough Gardaí, and Fine Gael have contributed to that with their lax attitude towards policing and the continual under resourcing of Gardai.
“While I welcome the news that exit interviews are to now be conducted with those resigning, we also need to look beyond the traditional routes where gardai usually came to the force from.
“Fine Gael have been responsible for the Justice Ministry for more than 10 years and the legacy of that will be a Garda retention crisis.”