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Garda Commissioner Welcomes First Garda Recruitment Competition With Increased Age Limit

Garda Commissioner Welcomes First Garda Recruitment Competition With Increased Age Limit

  • Age limit to apply to be a Garda trainee increased from 35 to 50
  • Garda Commissioner calls for people from all background and communities to apply to become a Garda
  • An Garda Síochána is attracting candidates working in police services abroad and from other careers (see testimonials below) 

The latest Garda recruitment competition has opened today (15 January 2024) and will run until 15.00 on 8 February 2024.

The competition will be operated by the Public Appointments Service on behalf of An Garda Síochána.

Candidates can apply at www.publicjobs.ie.

Following a Government decision, the age limit to apply to become a Garda trainee has increased from 35 years to 50 from this competition onwards.

In order to provide a steady pipeline of Garda trainees over the coming years, it is intended that Garda recruitment campaigns will run annually.

Commissioner Harris has commented previously on the need to not only meet the Government target of 15,000 Gardaí, but increase Garda numbers even further due to population growth and changing nature of crime. There are currently 13,998 Gardaí (as of 31 December 2023).

Speaking today, Commissioner Drew Harris said, "Being a Garda is a hugely rewarding but at times tough job. As a Garda you will make a real difference in people’s lives. You will effect positive change in communities. You will keep people safe. You will support victims. You will uphold the law. And, through this valued and exciting work you will see first-hand the impact your actions have on the ground. This is why being a Garda is a job worth doing.

“Every day, Gardaí keep communities and people safe through our unique approach to policing by consent. It is this approach coupled with a host of career opportunities that has attracted people to become Gardaí. We have even had those who were police officers in other jurisdictions return to retrain as a Garda.

“Policing in an ever changing modern and diverse society presents challenges, but equally it affords us opportunities to grow, learn and adapt. This is why An Garda Síochána recognises it too needs to change to meet the needs and demands of the people of Ireland. 

“Already, we have one of the highest proportion rates of female officers in Europe, but we know there is more to do to meet our aim of being fully representative of the people we serve. That is why we are hoping to attract more candidates from diverse backgrounds as part of this campaign. We want, and need, people from all backgrounds and communities to be Gardaí. 

“This campaign also sees the age limit increased to 50 years. This provides people who may now want to be Gardaí but thought the opportunity had passed or who are considering a change a career to join An Garda Síochána and make a real and lasting contribution to society.

“So, if you are looking for a career in service to the citizens of Ireland, which offers something new day after day, with career progression opportunities, and scope to diversify and specialise in a variety of areas of policing, then we want to hear from you.”

To promote the recruitment competition, a €400,000 (incl. VAT) promotional campaign under the tagline of "It’s A Job Worth Doing” will go live across TV, national and local print and radio, online, social media, and outdoor from 15 January 2024. The campaign will also target Irish people living in countries such as the UK, US, Canada, Australia and New Zealand. 

The media and creative for the advertising campaign was produced by Core and Spark Foundry in conjunction with H2 Films in 2023.

In 2023, 746 people commenced training to be a Garda with 388 Gardaí attested.

The next group of Gardaí to attest will be in April 2024.


Newly Attested Gardaí On Why They Joined An Garda Síochána

“It’s something I always wanted to do. I wanted to join when I was 18 but unfortunately there was no recruitment back then so I moved to Australia and joined the police and I came back from Australia in April for the 2023 campaign.

What I’d say to those considering joining is to go for it. It’s a challenging career, no two days are the same, we have learned so much in Templemore to prepare us for what’s to come, so you have to be resilient and push through it and go for it.

Garda Lorraine Delahunty from County Laois, stationed in Limerick City

(Link to video https://youtu.be/-upPLQesWy4)

“I always wanted to join the Guards. I was in the Army since 2013 and I felt I had a lot of traits I could carry over, and again there is the chance for promotion. What I would say to those looking to join is obviously I’m mature coming in, so it is daunting enough coming in at my age. I thought academically I mightn’t be able for it, but there is lots of support here. The staff in the College are absolutely brilliant. I’d just say give it a shot, it’s definitely worth doing”.

Jonathan O’Dowd from Wicklow stationed in DMR East

(Link to video https://youtu.be/zoFk6tSmE6Q)

“I was born in London to Irish parents, but it’s something I’ve always wanted to do. I was police in the UK and I always had a passion for joining the Gardaí and helping the people and the community in general.

What I would say to those considering joining, don’t procrastinate it’s more than achievable as long as you put the head down and work hard. Don’t think about it, just give it a shot”.

Jamie Quinn from Clonmel Co Tipperary stationed in Dublin city

(Link to video https://youtu.be/Kh36INqiU3c)


“Bhí suim i gcónaí agam sna Gardaí. Ba mhúinteoir mé sula chuir mé isteach ann agus tá suim mór agam a bheith ag obair i measc an phobail agus ag cuidiú le daoine.”

Is jab doiligh agus dúshlánach é ach bímse ag foghlaim cineál gach lá.”

Fionnuala Nic Corraidh as Béal Feiriste, lonnaithe ag Gaeltacht Ráth Chairn


“I was always interested in the Gardaí. I was a teacher before I applied and I have an interest in working among the community and helping people.

It’s a difficult and challenging job but I’m learning almost every day.”

Fionnuala Nic Corraidh from Belfast stationed at Ráth Chairn Gaeltacht.

(Link to video https://youtu.be/jqfA53w3vWk)


“I knew I wanted to work with people but I didn’t know in what way. I have a degree in Child Youth and Family Studies from NUIG, I graduated in 2020 and I saw the application and said I’d apply. I’m really delighted and I think it will be a great job and I’m looking forward to it. I think it will be a great career, there’s lots of opportunities out there, there’s a space for everyone, and I’d definitely recommend it”.

Garda Aideen Gavin from Galway stationed in Co Kildare

(Link to video https://youtu.be/JodCYYWV_z8)


“I wanted to become a Garda because I worked in retail initially I developed a passion for people, I realised I wanted to help people a bit more. If I had to give one piece of advice, look at your skills and the attributes you have and realise they are all valid, anything you bring from your background to this job will serve you well and nothing can’t be used and put to the front line”.

Garda Manus Murphy from Ballyfermot in Dublin now stationed in Dublin city

(Link to video https://youtu.be/drsS97me3fc)