Force to be reckoned with: event celebrates 60th anniversary of women joining gardai
By COLIN BARTLEY
GARDAI past and present from the Kilkenny-Carlow division were honoured at a recent event to mark the 60th anniversary of women joining as Garda members.
In July 1959 the first 12 women joined An Garda Siochana and were allocated to Pearse Street Station. There are currently 3,780 females making up 27% of Garda members. In addition, 26% of the Garda reserve are female and 76% of Garda staff are also female.
Superintendent Carmel Banville and Sergeant Catherine O’Gorman, Thomastown and Sergeant Laura Dragoi, Kilkenny, attended a special ceremony to mark the occasion in Farmleigh last week.
Speaking at the ceremony, Garda Commissioner Drew Harris said, “Sixty years ago these pioneers of policing in Ireland took the brave and honourable step of becoming a Garda and, in doing so, not only helped protect the communities they served but also inspired many other women to follow in their footsteps.
“Every day the women of An Garda Síochána make a positive difference to individuals and the communities this organisation serves across the country and further afield.”
“We have more to do. Not only do we need to encourage more women to join An Garda Síochána, we also need to continue to give female Gardaí the encouragement and support to apply for specialist units, detective duties and promotion so we can continue to increase female representation across An Garda Síochána.”