Retired Cork Senior Garda: Number of young members leaving force is ‘worrying’

Retired Cork Senior Garda: Number of young members leaving force is ‘worrying’

Chief Superintendent Con Cadogan who recently retired from being in charge of the Cork West garda division pictured in Kinsale, Co Cork. Picture Dan Linehan

An Garda Síochána faces a challenges in retaining staff into the future, retired Chief Superintendent Con Cadogan believes.

“One worrying aspect is the young members leaving the organisation since January of this year, up to last month, we have had something very close to 90 young members who came in, joined, got their full training, got degrees, and felt that maybe the job wasn’t for them.

“I think that a lot of that has to be that the pension structure changed back in 2013, 2014, in the organisation, and I think that has had a huge effect. A lot of people stayed because entry conditions were good, but that has changed and we can see a huge train out of the organisation and I think this will be a huge challenge for our Commissioner going forward,” he says.

“Quite a lot of the young members have left and joined the Australian police for example. A lot of our young members are now coming in with degrees, and they’re coming in and getting a degree in policing studies and obviously it is a good degree to have on top of your primary degree, and people look outside the organisation, maybe look to go abroad and that’s what seems to be happening.

“If you put that on top of natural retirements, it’s going to be very challenging for our commissioner to try and maintain the levels of resourcing in the organisation.” 

He believes a mooted change to the garda retirement age may help, but he worries it may not suffice.

“They’re looking to increase the retirement age now to 62, and that will probably come, so that may assist to a certain extent, but still, I don’t think it will be enough.

“We had a recruitment campaign, and I believe that there was 11,000 people expressed interest and when it came to doing the psychometric test, something like only 6,000 sat that, quite a lot didn’t get through that, and I think they were left with maybe around 3,000 people.

“There was a class to go into Templemore in October, unfortunately they were not in a position to fill it in mid-October. I believe that was supposed to be 160 [students], and all they could get was 40-something, so I believe they’ve had a rethink on that and that group is now due to go in in late November.

“Hopefully they will fill that, because obviously they need new people joining to go in and fill those vacancies and replacements out in towns and cities and out in rural areas.

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