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Organisational structure

HQ 1An Garda Síochána, Ireland's National Police and Security Service, has its headquarters in the Phoenix Park.

The Garda Commissioner is responsible for the general direction, management and control of An Garda Síochána and is appointed by Government. The Minister for Justice, Equality & Law Reform is responsible to the Government for the performance of An Garda Síochána.  Commissioner Drew Harris has been Commissioner since the 3rd September 2018.

HQ 2Background

An Garda Síochána has a long established tradition of working closely with communities all across Ireland. By fostering and maintaining effective community partnerships, and ensuring a more visible Garda presence, An Garda Síochána works to achieve a reduction in crime and the fear of crime in communities. The general direction and control of An Garda Síochána is the responsibility of the Garda Commissioner who is appointed by the Government.

The Commissioner is responsible to the Minister for Justice and Equality who in turn is accountable to the Government for the security and policing of the State. The Commissioner is assisted by a Deputy Commissioner and a Chief Administrative Officer. In addition, there are a number of Assistant Commissioners in command of Regions with others who have responsibility for critical portfolios such as Crime and Security, National Support Services, Traffic.

There are also a number of Civilian Executive Directors with responsibility for Human Resource and People Development, Finance and Services, and Information, Communications Technology and Organisation Development and Strategic Planning. An Garda Síochána is a community based organisation with over 14,500 Garda and Civilian employees. It has police officers located in every county in Ireland, listening to, acting and working with the community.

Some of An Garda Síochána’s core functions include:

  • the detection and prevention of crime;
  • ensuring our nation’s security;
  • reducing the incidence of fatal and serious injuries on our roads and improving road safety;
  • working with communities to prevent anti-social behaviour;
  • promoting an inter-agency approach to problem solving and improving the overall quality of life.

 HQ 3

Regions, Divisions and Districts

This map shows Garda Divisions

For policing purposes the country is divided into 6 regions, each of which is commanded by an Assistant Commissioner.  

Organisational Chart

The 6 regions are:

  • Dublin Metropolitan Region
  • Northern Region
  • Western Region
  • Eastern Region
  • Southern Region
  • South Eastern Region

The duties of the regional Assistant Commissioners are mainly operational. They are responsible for:

  • Ensuring the operational efficiency of their respective region;
  • The quality of operational management exercised by their Divisional and District Officers.

Each region is divided into divisions commanded by a Chief Superintendent, and each division is then divided into districts commanded by a Superintendent. A Superintendent in charge of a district is also known as the District Officer. He/she is assisted by a number of Inspectors. The districts are divided into sub-districts, each normally the responsibility of a Sergeant. Each sub-district usually has only 1 station, the strength of which may vary from 3 to 100 Gardaí. In some areas there are stations known as sub-stations which for administrative purposes are attached to a parent station. These sub-stations are usually occupied by one garda member. There are 564 Garda Stations throughout the country.

Garda ranks

Garda Ranks

Garda rank structure in descending order:

  • Commissioner
  • Deputy Commissioner
  • Assistant Commissioner
  • Chief Superintendent
  • Superintendent
  • Inspector
  • Sergeant
  • Garda
  • Reserve Garda

The Garda Uniform

The current Garda operational uniform was designed to meet the needs of the organisation at all levels and came on stream in 2006. The design of this uniform followed extensive research into best practice and international standards in uniform production. It presents a smart and contemporary look. As well as an operational uniform, Garda members also have a formal uniform. The formal uniform is worn as directed by the Garda Commissioner or on formal occasions. These occasions would include formal parades, guards of honour and functions hosted by the President, An Taoiseach or Foreign Ambassadors.

The operational uniform consists of:
  • Garda cap
  • Shirt
  • Tie
  • Epaulettes
  • Ballistic vest
  • Trousers/Skirt
  • Belt
  • Waterproof jacket and fleece
  • Waterproof trousers
  • Utility belt
  • Footwear
  • Gloves

 uniform_highvis 2

The high-visibility jacket is a very important part of protective equipment. The jacket is designed to provide a high level of visibility when a Garda is on outdoor duty especially at night time and when on traffic-related duties.

The utility belt holds the Garda's handcuffs, torch, notebook, fixed charge forms, baton, radio and gloves.

 uniform_jacket1The official issue clip-on tie is worn at all times when on duty in uniform.

The waterproof jacket can be worn with a separate fleece.

Garda Uniform imageThe Ballistic/Anti-stab vest is a vital part of equipment issued to members of An Garda Síochána for their personal protection.

The official Garda belt is worn with uniform trousers at all times.

uniform_epauletteuniform_capuniform_boots
A Garda's epaulette displays his or her "Shoulder Number" which is assigned according to Division and is unique to each member.Members are issued with two types of cap - one for wearing with their operational uniform and one for wearing with formal uniform. Garda caps have chin straps to keep caps in place in windy conditions.Official boots are worn with the operational uniform on outdoor duty.