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How to become a police officer in Ireland?


The police force in Ireland, known by their Irish title “an Gardai Síochána”, make regular announcements inviting members of the public to apply to become police officers. Applications can only be processed through the website and are only open during scheduled recruitment campaigns. 

If you’re interested in learning more about becoming a member we’ve broken down the process into various areas. 

What are the requirements?

In order to become a member of an Gardai Siochanai in Ireland the following are requirements:

  1. Be of good character.
  2. Be certified by a doctor to be of good health, of sound constitution and fitted physically and mentally to perform the duties of a member of the Service.
  3. You must pass a physical competence test.
  4. You must be at least 18 years and a maximum of 34 years old at the time of application
  5. Must have a proven proficiency in two languages, on of which must be Irish or English

Can I become a police officer if I’m not an Irish citizen?

Yes, however you must be of one of the following:

  1. A European Union citizen
  2. A national of a European Economic Area State or Switzerland
  3. A refugees under the Refugee Act, 1996
  4. A non Irish nationals that has had a period of one years continuous legal residence in Ireland when applying, and at least 4 years partial or full residence prior to this.
  5. A non Irish national that has been granted subsidiary protection, or are family members of those granted subsidiary protection.

How long does the process take and where do I train?

Training is divided into five phases and lasts for two years. In phase one, trainees spend 34 weeks in Templemoor college in County Tipperary, including two weeks’ holidays. Food and accommodation is also provided. 

All other phases involved working from a police station or designated post. Trainees are paid an allowance throughout the training process, an allowance of at least 185 Euros per week.

I am a police officer in another country. Can I transfer to Ireland?

No, there is no internal transfer process. You must go through the normal recruitment process.  

What’s the pay like?

Members of an Gardai Síochána are paid a salary between €30,296 – €52,482, depending on years of service and rank.

Is it dangerous, what are the duties?

Being a police officer anywhere can be challenging however rewarding. There are various wide ranging duties involved in upholding the law and protecting citizens. These may include the following:

  • Traffic, road safety and collisions
  • Public service duties such as responding to crimes, answering questions, assisting citizens
  • Liaising with victims of crime, family members and associates
  • Crowd control, event safety and public disorder incidents
  • Arresting offenders
  • Completing related paperwork 
  • Investigations and following up on cases  

Can I become specialized or work in a particular area of law enforcement?

You must serve at least three years on normal uniformed policing duties before you can be considered for a specialist role within an Gardai Síochána. Afterwards you are free to apply for any vacancies in specialist areas. 

Further reading:

Author: Thiago

I moved to Ireland 2012. I work as a business administrator and travel a lot to Europe with my work. I enjoy writing and athletics during my vacation and try to visit friends and family every year in Brazil.
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