Garda numbers have fallen over the past five months and are at their lowest levels since January 2020.
The Garda force now stands at 14,369, compared to 14,750 in March 2020.
There are growing fears that if the current rate of decline continues, numbers could drop to as low as 14,200 by year’s end unless any student Gardaí graduate in December.
In addition, 79 Gardaí are on suspension by the end of August, and this number has grown since.
Governments have repeatedly set targets of 15,000 Gardaí by 2021, but recruitment has been severely curtailed as a result of Covid-19 restrictions.
Government sources are saying Budget 2022 will provide funding for an additional 500 new Gardaí.
IMAGE – Gardainfo/Twitter