Almost ten percent of Donegal Gardaí are currently off on sick leave.
The revelation was contained in figures given at last week’s meeting of the Donegal Joint Policing Committee (JPC) by Chief Superintendent Aidan Glacken.
Members of the JPC also expressed concerns over the strength of the force in the county and the perceived lack of a visible presence in many areas.
Chief Supt Glacken confirmed that 39 personnel in the Donegal Division are currently off sick. These include some who have been injured or assaulted while on duty or have long-term illness. As of last Thursday, the figure represented just over nine per cent of members of An Garda Síochána’s employees in Donegal.
Chief Supt Glacken told the meeting that there are currently 432 personnel, including 362 gardai, employed in the Donegal Garda Division.
While he noted that this was up from 330 gardai and a total workforce of 386 in 2017, Deputy Pearse Doherty said the force has been ‘depleted’ in the last three years.
He also questioned if the Garda Commissioner, Drew Harris, is ‘supporting our Gardai in Donegal.’
Chief Supt Glacken said there were issues over recruitment and retention and pointed out that there was ‘little or no recruiting’ in 2020 and 2021 due to the Covid-19 pandemic.
He said there were three people allocated to Donegal from the last group to pass out from the Garda Training College in Templemore. In response to a question from Deputy Doherty, Chief Supt Glacken said he was not sure how many of the 151 people set to graduate on December 15 would be allocated to the county. However, he stressed, he would continue to ‘fight’ to get more resources for the county.Tags: