€55m spent on Garda overtime since March

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Garda sergeants and inspectors have received overtime payments totalling €15.23 million during the course of the State response to the Covid-19 pandemic to date.

According to new figures provided by the Minister for Justice Helen McEntee, the total Garda overtime bill from the start of March to September 23rd totals €54.8 million.

The bill is made up of €39.48 million to rank and file Gardaí; €11.47 million to Garda sergeants and €3.768 million to Garda inspectors.

The figures provided in a written Dáil reply to Deputy Catherine Murphy by Minister McEntee show that the overtime spend in Dublin Garda divisions during that time totals €18.38 million.

The largest spend in Dublin was in Dublin North Central totalling €4.07 million with the overtime spend in Dublin South Central totalling €4 million.

The figures also shows that the overtime spend for the Dublin North division totalled €3.58 million; Dublin South – €2.043 million and Dublin West totalling €1.19 million.

The figures also show that the overtime spend by Garda national units and Garda HQ total €11.89 million for the period.

This was made up of overtime payments to Gardai in the units and HQ totalling €7.78 million; overtime payments to Sergeants of €3 million and overtime payments to inspectors in those units and HQ at €1.09 million.

Figures for outside the capital show that the overtime spend for Cork city was €1.6 million; Galway – €1.78 million; Limerick – €1.5 million and Louth – €1.9 million.

Part of the Garda response to Covid-19 was a new rostering system put in place with frontline officers working 12-hour shifts on a four days on and four days off basis.

The Garda work involved Operation Fanacht which involved Garda checkpoints across the country aimed at restricting the movement of people during lockdown.

Already, Department of Justice officials have stated that extra monies will be required for the Gardaí in supplementary estimates will be needed in October/November timeframe rather than closer to year end.

The officials stated that Covid-19 is the main driver in additional pressures on the Garda budget totalling an additional €44 million.

The briefing documents for Minister McEntee put additional payroll costs at the Gardaí due to revised rosters at €18 million; PPE costs of €14 million; the earlier attestation of two classes at a cost of €4.5 million; additional fleet purchases of €3 million; hire of additional vehicles of €1.5 million and ICT and other costs at €3 million.

In her reply to Deputy Murphy, Minister McEntee stated that there is ongoing engagement with the Gardaí in relation to budgetary matters including the additional costs arising from the response to the Covid-19 pandemic.

Minister McEntee stated that as part of the Government’s July Stimulus Package, an additional €11 million in capital funding has been made available for the Garda Vote.

She stated: “All aspects of the 2020 Budget will continue to be kept under review over the coming months, including any requirements for further additional funding, and of course there is extensive engagement with the Garda authorities and with the Department of Expenditure and Reform in the context of preparing for the 2021 Estimates.“



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