A report regarding the low number of Irish-speaking Gardaí in the Gaeltacht has been submitted to the Houses of the Oireachtas by An Coimisinéir Teanga.
It was decided to lay a Report before both Houses of the Oireachtas as the recommendations of an investigation carried out in 2011 had not been implemented by An Garda Síochána and An Coimisinéir Teanga was unable to undertake any additional measures to impress upon An Garda Síochána to do so.
implemented by An Garda Síochána. The number of Irish-speaking Gardaí who are on duty in the Gaeltacht is inadequate and as a result the Garda Síochána Act is being breached. It would be difficult to argue that a reasonable period of time has not elapsed since recommendations were made in a 2011 investigation. It now falls to the Houses of the Oireachtas to take whatever additional measures they deem appropriate.’ said Rónán Ó Domhnaill, Coimisinéir Teanga. In an interview this morning he stated that "their hearts were broken" trying to get the Garda Síochána to fulfill their legal obligation.
The Commissioner of An Garda Síochána is under a statutory obligation to ensure that members of the force who are fluent in Irish are stationed in a district that includes a Gaeltacht area, as far as practicable. The law clearly states: ‘The Garda Commissioner shall, to the extent practicable, ensure that members of the Garda Síochána stationed in a district that includes a Gaeltacht area are sufficiently competent in the Irish language to enable them to use it with facility in carrying out their duties.’ (Subsection 33(2) of the Garda Síochána Act 2005).
The investigation, which was completed in December 2011, found that An Garda Síochána did not comply with its statutory language obligations to station members of the force who are sufficiently proficient in Irish in the Donegal Gaeltacht.
A specific recommendation was made in the 2011 investigation that An Garda Síochána should examine staffing throughout the Gaeltacht to ensure compliance with the statutory language obligations pertaining to An Garda Síochána in the Garda Síochána Act 2005 and An Garda Síochána’s Language Scheme 2009-2012.
As a result of a monitoring process, it was ascertained that only 35 Irish-speaking Gardaí, out of a total of 95, are assigned to Gaeltacht stations. This is according to An Garda Síochána’s own self-assessment system.
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