Kelly accuses Taoiseach of ‘cooking the books’ on Garda figures

A Tipperary TD says the Taoiseach’s figures on the number of recruits at the Garda College in Templemore are completely inaccurate.

Leo Varadkar told the Dáil this week the figure for the year was between 700 and 800.

Labour’s Alan Kelly questioned Garda Commissioner Drew Harris at the Justice Committee for the exact number of new entrants into Templemore this year.

He says the difference between the figures from the Commissioner and the Taoiseach shows that the Government has effectively been cooking the books.

“Eventually he came up with the number 633 but also some trainees will be taken in on the 27th/28th of December. Anyone telling me that what the Taoiseach said in the Dáil on Tuesday that 700 to 800 trainees would go through Templemore would include people who would go in for their first days at the very end of December, well that is not acceptable. That is cooking the books.”

Deputy Kelly says the Taoiseach needs to current the Dáil record in relation to claims he made on the number of Garda recruits in Templemore.

“You cannot claim that those over 150 trainees that go in at the end of December are really recruits from 2023 that got training. They usually go in in January – they’re being brought in in December to make the figures look higher than they are and that is not appropriate behaviour.

“It is not right that the Taoiseach came in and said that he was told by the Garda authorities that these were the figures because they are not right and they are trying to pull the wool over the eyes of the Irish public and this needs to be corrected.”