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One third of applicants to An Garda Síochána aged over 35

Almost 6,500 people have applied to become a member of An Garda Síochána in its latest recruitment campaign, more than one third of whom are aged over 35.

Figures released by the force show there were 6,381 applications.

Around 2,300 (36.6%) of them are aged between 35 and 49.

The campaign – conducted by the Public Appointments Service – closed last Friday.

The previous initiative, which ended ten months ago, attracted approximately 5,000 applications.

This year’s recruitment campaign was the first since the Government decided to increase the age limit to apply to become a garda from 35 to 50.

Garda Commissioner Drew Harris said the change provided the opportunity to people who thought their chance had passed or who were considering a change of career to join An Garda Síochána.

Minister for Justice Helen McEntee said that older people would bring experience and diversity to the force, adding that the move was in line with people living longer and changing jobs more often.

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A garda spokesperson said: “This level of applications coming less than a year since the last competition coupled with the fact that more than 2,000 applicants were aged over 35 confirms that interest in becoming a garda is still high and it’s a job worth doing.”

Applicants will enter into a competitive selection process involving a number of stages involving online aptitude tests, competency based interviews and fitness tests.

The Government has committed to bring the strength of An Garda Síochána up to 15,000.

At the end of 2023, there were 13,998 gardaí.

The force said that it is intended to run recruitment campaigns on an annual basis to ensure a steady stream of trainees entering the Garda College.

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