Garda Síochána Reserve

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The Garda Síochána Reserve (Irish: Cúltaca an Gharda Síochána) is the volunteer reserve section of the Garda Síochána - the national police force of Ireland. It was created in 2006 and the first 36 Reserves graduated on 15 December 2006 at the Garda College, in Templemore.[1]

Badge of An Garda Síochána.gif


The Garda Síochána Act 2005 provides for the establishment of a Garda Reserve, consisting of approx 1,000 persons or 10% of the regular force, to assist in performing its functions. Its purpose is to supplement the work of members of the Garda Síochána. The first 900 recruits to the Reserve were expected to be in place by September 2006. 1164 Reserve members have been deployed to date (February 2015). As of 13 October 2016 , there were 789 Garda Reserve members with further training scheduled for 2017 [2][3] The Reserve will carry out duties defined by the Garda Commissioner and sanctioned by the Minister for Justice and Equality.

Function and Training of Garda Reserve[edit]

The Garda Reserve is intended to be a source of local strength and knowledge. The role of the Garda Reserve is to provide local patrols and participate in crime prevention initiatives relevant to local problem areas.[4] Reserve members are given full powers, however these powers have been restricted and will be rolled out at the discretion of the commissioner.

Reserve members receive training in Irish law, self-defence, restraint, human rights, Garda procedures and discipline. Reserves are required to work under the supervision of and be accompanied by regular members of the Force. A Garda Reserve has no set amount of time to work, but in order to gain expenses, they are required to work a minimum of 208 hours per year, with minimum tour durations of 4 hours.

"'Training Programme:'"

  • Phase I: Two day induction Course (Weekdays) at the Garda College, Templemore, Co. Tipperary covering the following areas: Introduction to An Garda Síochána, Human Rights, Discipline, Ethics and Organisational Culture.
  • Phase II: A 2 week all inclusive course to be held at the Garda College (Monday Friday not including weekends). The Course will include training in Retractable Baton, Incapacitant Spray and Tetra Radio.
  • Phase III: Two day Course (Weekdays) at the Garda College.
  • Phase IV: Minimum of 40 hours on the job training at a designated Garda Station to include accompanied beat patrol and station duty
  • Phase V: 1 day Attestation and Graduation ceremony - Weekday at the Garda College.[5]

Duties of a Reservist including station duty (other than care & custody of detained persons), staffing communications rooms, foot patrol, static security duty, event policing, preserving crime scenes, court attendance (as witnesses), assisting at road traffic checkpoints, collisions, fires, etc.

Limited Powers[edit]

Reserve Gardaí members dress in the same uniform as regular members, the distinguishing mark of a reserve member is the letters GR on the shoulder number of the reserve member. Reserves are permitted limited access to the PULSE system. Members will not be deployed in plain clothes or carry firearms.

Duties and powers assigned to Reserve Gardaí will be commensurate with their training and will primarily involve legislation relating to road traffic,[6] public order,[7][8][9][10] drugs, theft & burglary.

Garda Ranks

The powers of Reserve Gardaí will be restricted and amended at the discretion of the Garda Commissioner in accordance with Section 15 of the Garda Síochána Act 2005. Since 28 May 2007 the powers have encompassed limited Road Traffic Act powers and Section 4 of the Criminal Law Act 1997.[11]

There were also additional powers announced by Alan Shatter, the previous Minister of Justice, which includes powers to deal with public order offences and the seizure of vehicles in accordance with Section 41 of the Road Traffic Act 1961, done through a phased basis and expected to be implemented at year end of 2012. In 2015, the Minister for Justice and Equality, Frances Fitzgerald confirmed the introduction of these powers[12]

Information on applying to join the Garda Reserve:

  • The first step is to access the website and ensure that you meet the criteria. (Outlined in our Frequently Asked Questions section). The Public Appointments Service will contact you if you meet the criteria when the area you live in is being targeted for recruitment.
  • The Public Appointments Service will schedule you for an interview on an agreed date. This interview will be held locally - for Dublin it will be held at the Public Appointments Service, Middle Abbey Street, Dublin 1 and outside Dublin at a nominated venue within the region. You will be interviewed by a member of the Public Appointments Service and a retired officer of An Garda Síochána.
  • A short report writing exercise will take place in conjunction with the interview at the nominated place.
  • The Public Appointments Service will then contact you and inform you if you have been successful or unsuccessful at the interview and report writing stage.
  • On successfully passing the interview and report writing stage you will be notified by the Public Appointments Service to download the Application Form BR from the website.
  • You should complete the form on your personal computer then print the form and attach a recent passport size photo which you should bring to your local Garda station to be signed and witnessed by a member of An Garda Síochána.
  • Your local Garda station will contact you and arrange for you to meet a local member of An Garda Síochána and the District Superintendent for a brief interview.
  • If you are successful at interview, once the Garda Reserve Office gets the required security clearance, you will be called to complete a medical examination (some medicals may be conducted prior to security clearance).
  • Those successful at the medical and who have cleared all the security clearance processes will be invited to attend training to become a member of the Garda Reserve.[13]


  1. ^ "First Garda Reserve members graduate". RTÉ News. RTÉ. 15 December 2006. Retrieved 2007-05-26. 
  2. ^ "Garda Reserves to receive greater powers". RTÉ News. 
  3. ^ "Garda Reserve: 13 Oct 2016: Written answers (". Retrieved 2016-11-16. 
  4. ^ "About the Garda Reserve". An Garda Síochána. Retrieved 20 April 2016. 
  5. ^ Síochána, An Garda. "Garda Reserve - An Garda Síochána - Ireland's National Police Service". Retrieved 2016-11-20. 
  6. ^ "Road Traffic Act 1961". eISB. Irish Government. Retrieved 23 April 2016. 
  7. ^ "Criminal Justice (Public Order) Act, 1994 Section 8". eISB. Irish Government. Retrieved 23 April 2016. 
  8. ^ "Criminal Justice (Public Order) Act, 1994 Section 21". eISB. Irish Government. Retrieved 23 April 2016. 
  9. ^ "Criminal Justice (Public Order) Act, 1994 Section 22". eISB. Irish Government. 
  10. ^ "Criminal Justice (Public Order) Act, 1994 Section 24". eISB. Irish Government. 
  11. ^ Irish Statute Book, Acts of the Oireachtas, Garda Síochána Act 2005, Section 15
  12. ^ "Garda Reserves to receive greater powers". RTÉ News. Retrieved 23 April 2016. 
  13. ^ Síochána, An Garda. "Garda Reserve - An Garda Síochána - Ireland's National Police Service". Retrieved 2016-11-20. 

See also[edit]