Justice Minister admits massive reduction in garda numbers

There are just 12,800 members of An Garda Siochana - down 1,700 since the peak of Celtic Tiger

The Minister for Justice Frances Fitzgerald has admitted there has been a massive reduction in garda numbers.

Speaking to Newstalk Breakfast, Minister Fitzgerald says her department is now rebuilding after recruitment in the force was effectively stopped amidst the economic recovery.

During the peak of Celtic Tiger there were 14,500 gardai - but now there are just 12,800 members of the force.

“Obviously, the economy collapsed, the figures of recruitment into An Garda Siochana collapsed and we are slowly rebuilding," she admitted.

However, Minister Fitzgerald believes explained how that reduction was necessary: "But if we hadn’t managed the economy effectively, if we hadn’t turned the economy around, I would not have had the opportunity to invest in An Garda Siochana and indeed the entire justice sector as I have been able to do for the last two years.”