Garda (Police) Racial, Intercultural and Diversity Office (GRIDO)

In announcing the establishment of the Garda Racial and Intercultural Office (now the Garda Racial, Intercultural and Diversity Office) in 2000, the then Garda Commissioner outlined its key function as being "to advise, monitor and co-ordinate all policing activity around racial, ethnic, religious and cultural diversity".

The Garda Racial and Intercultural Office. can be contacted at Tel: +353 1 6663150/3817 or at Fax:+353 1 6663801

Diversity Strategy and Implementation Plan

An Garda Sochna (Police Force) published a Diversity Strategy and Implementation Plan 2009-2012 entitled "Beyond Legal Compliance" in May 2009. The Plan set out how the Garda Sochna (Police Force) would deliver on its commitment to embrace all aspects of policing and diversity. The Diversity Strategy was developed following extensive research and widespread consultation with key internal and external stakeholders. This Strategy was dual focused, in that it set out organisational priorities to manage diversity within both the Garda (Police) workplace and the communities that the Garda (Police) serve. Consultations for the new strategy were held earlier this year.

Ethnic Liaison Officer/LGBT Officer system (ELOs)

The Garda Sochna has in place an Ethnic Liaison Officer/LGBT Officer system (ELOs) which provides training and support for the 320 Garda ethnic liaison/LGBT officers throughout the state and is a positive indicator of the organisation’s commitment to Ethnic and Cultural Diversity as a strategic goal. Anyone reporting that they have been the victim of a racist incident will be informed by the Garda of the designated Garda Ethnic Liaison/LGBT Officer in their area. National contact details of the ELO/LGBT*officers are available here.
*ELO = Ethnic Liaison Officer
LGBT = Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender

Intercultural Ireland - Identifying the Challenges for the Police Service

The Office has completed an EU funded programme entitled "Intercultural Ireland, Identifying the Challenges for the Police Service". This was a five-stranded programme which included:
        • A European exchange programme
        • A Conference
        • The establishment of an ethnic relations forum
        • The development of a Garda training/ education strategy
        • The production of a Garda training video.

An initiative explored by the Garda (Police) Racial and Intercultural office is the development of a network of contact individuals within the many minority ethnic communities in Ireland. Other ongoing initiatives include the quarterly production of a Garda (Police) Racial and Intercultural Newsletter together with developing awareness raising campaigns on racial and ethnic issues.

Information Booklet

In 2002, the Garda (Police) published Your Police Service in Intercultural Ireland', a source of information for all minorities in Ireland aimed at facilitating an understanding of the role of An Garda Sochna (Irish Police Force). The booklet gives a brief guide to the police service, those aspects of Irish law which affect people in their daily lives, what they can expect if they have a complaint to make and what structures are there to deal with such complaints. This booklet is available in 12 languages at the webpage of the Garda Racial and Intercultural Office.

Crime Prevention Advice

An Garda Sochna, with the financial assistance of the Office for the Promotion of Migrant Integration, has published a number of crime prevention and community safety information sheets for migrants. These sheets provide information on road safety, personal security at home and within the community, advice on securing possession, information about substance abuse as well as useful contacts. They are available in the following languages: French, Latvian, Lithuanian, Mandarin, Polish, Portuguese, Romanian, Russian and Spanish.

Website (

A website developed by An Garda Sochna Dublin Metropolitan Regional North Central Division aims to provide people from the new communities with a channel of communication to express their views and to build relationships between the new communities, An Garda Sochna and Dublin City Council. It won an award at the Media and Multicultural Awards in November 2008.

National Garda Consultation Day

The Garda Racial, Intercultural and Diversity Office hold a Diversity Consultation Day annually. This Diversity Consultation Day is one of the key events in both the Office and the Garda Community Relations & Community Policing Division’s calendar.

The objective of the day is to meet directly and engage with, the representative organisations, personnel and leaders of a wide spectrum of communities within Ireland. The attendees are given an opportunity to discuss issues affecting their communities and, through the use of focus groups, help shape and influence Garda policy, strategy and procedures relating to diverse matters.

The 2013 Consultation Day was held on 28th of February 2013.

Garda Training

The Continuous Professional Development Programme at the Garda OutsourceTraining Centre in Nenagh, Co. Tipperary offers a specialised training course on Ethnic Liaison. Garda Local Continuous Professional Development Centres include modules on Cultural Diversity in their programmes.

Racial profiling

As indicated by Mr. Alan Shatter, T.D, Minister for Justice and Equality at the Universal Periodic Review examination of Ireland in Geneva on 6 October 2011, An Garda Sochna does not engage in racial profiling.

It is also worth noting that, in response to queries raised by Ireland about the methodology used in the Fundamental Rights Agency EU- MIDIS survey - Mapping discrimination- European Union Minorities and Discrimination Survey 2009, the Head of the Freedoms and Justice Department of the Fundamental Rights Agency replied as follows:

"I would also like you to consider one result regarding police stops; namely: although Sub Saharan Africans in Ireland had, overall the highest rate of stops in the past 12 months- at the same time, compared with other groups with high rates of stops, relatively few of the Sub- Saharan Africans who were stopped in Ireland felt that the police stopped them because of their ethnicity.

The survey's findings on police stops were presented in October 2010 at the Irish police training college in Templemore, and were positively received for indicating that very few Sub- Saharan Africans who were stopped considered they were profiled by the police in a discriminatory way- hence there are also positive results from the survey (in comparison with other countries) concerning Sub Saharan Africans in Ireland. In this regard, the agency considers the work of the Irish police in the field of diversity and non -discrimination to be a good practice example; the results of which are reflected in the low levels of reported discriminatory police profiling noted by Sub Saharan Africans."

(Source : Fundamental Rights Agency letter 2010.)

Non-Irish national members of the Force

The recruitment of full-time Garda is governed by the Garda Sochna (Admissions and Appointments) Regulations 1988. In 2005, the regulations were amended to facilitate greater diversity in the membership of the Garda Sochna. Recruitment of foreign nationals was made easier by modifying the requirement to have Leaving Certificate qualifications in both English and Irish. Recruits now only require the equivalent of a Leaving Certificate qualification in either language. In addition to EU, EEA and Swiss nationals, recruitment is also now open to non-European nationals who have resided in Ireland for five years. The number of non-Irish national full-time trainees and full-time attested members of the Force are as follows: [

        South Africa
TOTAL (at 12/06/09)46

Garda (Police) Reserve

There are currently (May 2014) 72 non-Irish nationals in the Garda (Police) Reserve. The total force is 1,294 . These members are from 25 countries - Albania, America, Belarus, Brazil, Cameroon, China, Croatia, France, India, Italy, Iranian, Japan, Latvia, Lithuania, Moldova, Morocco, Nigeria, Pakistan, Poland, Romania, Russia, South Africa, Syrian, Ukraine and Zimbabwe.

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