BUDGET 2015 UPDATE
· Minister welcomes “breakthrough budget” for Justice sector – first
year-on year budget increase since 2008
· €141 million increase since budget day last year including 68% rise
in capital funding
· Minister announces next intake of 200 recruits to Garda College
· €10 million secured for over 400 new Garda vehicles
· Comprehensive package of budget increases aimed at funding reforms
across the policing and justice sector.
Minister says increased investment in An Garda Síochána marks a positive
step forward for policing in Ireland. New vehicles and ongoing recruitment
will help ensure a strong, visible policing deterrent is provided in
communities right across the country, helping to reduce crime.
Frances Fitzgerald TD, Minister for Justice and Equality, has today
welcomed the 2015 allocations to the Justice group of votes which will see
€2.156 billion being provided for current spending and almost €107 million
for capital spending.
This represents a total budget increase of €141 million compared with the
previously-published 2015 expenditure ceilings announced on budget day last
year. This includes a €96 million increase on the current expenditure
ceiling and €45 million on the capital envelope. The overall increase to
the expenditure ceilings is 6.6% while the capital increase for 2015
represents a 68% rise.
Minister Fitzgerald said that: “Today’s allocations represent a
breakthrough budget for the justice sector with the first year-on-year
budget increase since 2008.
“This increased budget will secure better policing across the country and
underpin major reforms right across the justice sector.”
“The increased investment in An Garda Síochána marks a positive step
forward for policing in Ireland. New vehicles and ongoing recruitment will
help ensure a strong, visible policing presence is provided in communities
right across the country, helping to reduce crime.”
68% increase in capital spending in 2015, including €10 million for 400 new
Minister Fitzgerald today announced that the Government is providing an
additional €7 million in 2014 and €3 million in 2015 to allow the
procurement and fit-out of approximately 400 new Garda vehicles. The
vehicles will begin to come on stream in early 2015.
The Minister stated: “This investment demonstrates the commitment of
Government to ensuring the ongoing provision of a modern and efficient
Garda fleet. There will be particular focus on an increased provision of
marked Garda vehicles, to provide an enhanced visible policing presence in
communities around the state and to support Gardaí in their efforts to
The Minister added that “both urban and rural communities will benefit in
terms of the provision of modern new vehicles for Garda patrol and
This will include building on the success of targeted intelligence
operations, such as Operation Fiacla by supporting an increased response
capacity by Gardaí to burglaries, including rural burglaries being
committed by highly mobile gangs. This will be facilitated by the
allocation of these new well-equipped vehicles and will re-enforce the
engagement between local Gardaí and the communities they serve.
Minister Fitzgerald announced a further capital allocation of €42 million
in 2015 for the provision of three new Garda Divisional Headquarters in
Galway; Kevin Street in Dublin City and Wexford. It is expected that these
buildings will be constructed over the next three years.
Minister Fitzgerald reaffirmed her commitment to a comprehensive updating
of Garda technology. The Minister today announced that an additional €4
million is being made available in both the current year and 2015 for ICT
Projects including a necessary information systems upgrade which will
provide an essential platform for further system developments. Work is
underway to quantify the type of systems and scale of additional investment
required and that when this work is advanced the Government will consider
The Minister also confirmed that €27 million in capital funding,
representing an increase of €1 million, is being allocated to the Prisons
Service. This will enable the completion of the new Cork Prison and the
refurbishment of D-wing in Mountjoy Prison.
200 new recruits to enter Garda College in December and January
Minister Fitzgerald welcomed the €40 million increase in the current budget
allocation for An Garda Síochána, which reflects a 5% increase in the
allocation for Garda payroll compared to budget day last year.
The Minister stated: “This funding substantially addresses the underlying
payroll shortfall of the Garda vote and will allow me to proceed with my
objective of ongoing recruitment of new Gardaí.”
The Minister announced two further intakes of recruits to the Garda College
in Templemore, the first 100 to take place before the end of this year with
a further intake of 100 in January 2015. 100 new recruits already entered
Garda College in September 2014
The Minister said she will continue to monitor Garda staffing levels during
2015 with a view to agreeing further intakes to Garda College as required.
Funding for reforms
Minister Fitzgerald also today announced a comprehensive package of budget
increases aimed at funding reforms across the policing and justice sector.
Minister Fitzgerald stated: “The Government is committed to delivering a
comprehensive Justice Reform Programme aimed at enhancing the
administration and oversight of Ireland’s policing services. We will
strengthen the role and remit of GSOC while the new independent Policing
Authority will provide further public accountability of policing in this
country. The funding announced today will help support these important
“In addition, the allocations to support the set-up of the Legal Service
Regulatory Authority; to fund the operation of the newly created Court of
Appeal, and to support the recently-established Irish Human Rights &
Equality Commission and Charities Regulator all prove this Government’s
commitment to real reform.”
The package of allocations announced today include:
· €500,000 is being allocated to support the establishment of the
planned new Policing Authority;
· An additional €1 million is being allocated to strengthen the
capacity of the Garda Síochána Ombudsman Commission (GSOC), bringing
their total budget to €9 million in 2015;
· An additional €250,000 is being allocated to support the work of the
· An additional €500,000 is being allocated to the new Charities
Regulatory Authority, bringing their total budget to €1.4 million in
· €500,000 is being allocated for start-up costs of the proposed Legal
Services Regulatory Authority;
· Increased funding is also being provided for the Property Services
Regulatory Authority, bringing its budget to over €1.7 million in
· The costs of the planned referenda in 2015 will also be provided from
within the ‘Commissions’ subhead of the Justice and Equality Vote;
· An additional €2 million is being allocated in current expenditure
funding to the Courts vote as well as the retention in 2015 of a
once-off capital allocation of €2 million from 2014.
Minister Fitzgerald today confirmed that the recently-established Irish
Human Rights and Equality Commission is being given its own dedicated vote,
with an allocation of €6.3 million in 2015. The Minister said that the
establishment of a stand-alone vote reaffirmed the independence of this new
body in line with the ‘Paris Principles’, which are the set of UN rules
that govern operation of national human rights institutions.