Every state needs to protect its citizens. The Irish Defence Forces are entrusted with the task of defending the state from external attack. The Army, the Navy and the Air Corp form the different sections of our defence forces.
Today approximately 8,500 men and women serve in the Irish Army. The army plays an important role working as peacekeepers, observers or peace enforcers in troubled spots around the world such as the Middle East, North-West Africa and Asia. There are over 12,000 Gardai in the state police force who are in charge of maintaining all aspects of law and order in the State.
[for detailed information, click on the Garda Siochana profile (left)]
An understanding of team-work, an ability to communicate with people, a facility for problem-solving and a potential for resolving conflict are the key skills required to become a successful Garda. Selection is done by recruitment and aptitude test and those who reach the interview stage of the Garda recruitment process are tested for competency in the areas of planning and preparation, community orientation, achieving high standards, decision making, persuading others and taking charge.
You need to be aged between 18 and 34 to be eligible to apply to the Garda Siochána. Everyone must be in good mental and physical health. There is also a written assessment, which is conducted by the Public Appointments Office.
Note: The Gardaí are not currently recruiting. Recruitment information will be updated in accordance with any changes in this situation. For more information on the Garda Reserve click here.
The Gardai get backup support from a number of specialist units within the force that include the mapping section, the fingerprint section, the document section, the international liaison office, the water unit, the National Drug Unit, the National Traffic Bureau, the Criminal Assets Bureau and the mounted unit.
There is also the community relations section, the air support unit, the national bureau of criminal investigation and the special detective unit. These various specialist sections offer Gardai lots of opportunity for advancing and specialising within the career sector.
Training comprises a total of three years based in Templemore which also includes study and supervised practical work at selected Garda stations. The student probation training programme at Templemore is an integrated third-level diploma course under the National Council for Education Awards. The college also has a BA in police management for superintendent rank upwards.
To be eligible to apply to the Garda Sίochana, students must have obtained a grade not lower than D at ordinary level in at least 5 subjects (including Irish, English, Maths) in the Leaving Certificate or in the Leaving Certificate Vocational Programme.
Alternatively candidates are eligible with a grade no lower than D at ordinary level in at least three subjects (including English) together with a grade not lower than B at foundation level in Maths and a grade not lower than C at foundation level in Irish in either the Leaving Certificate or Leaving Certificate Vocational Programme.
Equally, the merit grade in the Leaving Certificate Applied is acceptable or similar grades in another examination, which, in the opinion of the Minister for Justice, is not of a lower standard than the above.
THE IRISH DEFENCE FORCES
The Defence Forces are made up of a Permanent Defence Force (PDF) and a Reserve Defence Force (RDF). The role of the Defence Forces is to defend the state, aid the civil power participating in United Nations missions overseas and provide a fishery protection service. They may be called on by Government to perform other duties in times of emergency.
Note: The Defence Forces are not recruiting in the foreseeable future, and entry requirements and procedures for future recruitment campaigns may differ from past campaigns. The information below refers to past campaigns and should only be used as a rough guide.
There are three main levels into the Permanent Defence Forces, Cadet, Recruit and specialist competitions that may arise (e.g. Apprenticeship, Musicians, Doctors etc).
Cadets are taken on to train as officers. Army Officers are the Managers, Decision makers, and Leaders of the Defence Forces. Cadets or trainee Officers engage in 15 months training in the Military College covering many fields of study before taking up an operational appointment in the Permanent Defence Force.
An Air Corps Cadet completes a 21 month course, initially seven months at The Cadet School, Military College, Defence Forces Training Centre, Curragh Camp, Co Kildare and later at Basic Flying Training Wing, Casement Aerodrome, Baldonnel, Co Dublin. On successful completion of training he/she joins the Commissioned ranks as an Air Corps Officer/Pilot.
When Naval Service Cadets are recruited, they enter the Naval School, Naval Base, Haulbowline, Co Cork, for a two-week period where they are introduced to naval life, both ashore and on-board ship. They then join their Army and Air Corps colleagues for joint trainining in the Cadet School, Curragh Camp for approximately four months before completing their training with the Naval Service in Haulbowline..
The Naval Service offers two types of Cadetships; Operations Branch and Engineering Branch Cadetships. An Operations Branch Cadetship lasts 22 months, while the Engineering Branch Cadetship lasts 24 months.
An Army Equitation Cadet completes a 15 month course at The Cadet School, Military College, Defence Forces Training Centre, Curragh Camp, Co Kildare and graduates with an NCEA National Degree in Military Studies and on successful completion of training, joins the commissioned ranks as a Second Lieutenant. They are posted to The Army Equitation School as a riding officer.
Qualities needed (applicable to all types of Cadetships):
- The ability to plan, prioritise and organise people and other resources
- The ability to carefully analyse problems, in order to generate appropriate solutions
- The aptitude for absorbing information and being able to identify relevant information
- Clear, concise and effective communication skills
- The ability and motivation to coordinate and to delegate to others.
- For details on entry requirements, please see the 'Ask the Experts' section provided by the Defence forces. (top right).
Apprentices and Specialist Competitions
Recruitment of Apprentices to the Defence Forces only occurs as particular needs arise and as such is irregular. It is now more common for the Defence Forces to train serving personnel “in-house”. From time to time, the Defence Forces may recruit other categories of specialists e.g. Musicians for the Defence Forces School of Music (Military Bands) or Engine Room Artificers (Ships Engine Room Technicians). If such competitions are sanctioned, they will be advertised on national press and on www.military.ie
Recruits in the Permanent Defence Force are required to undergo an initial training period of approximately 16 weeks, during which time they are required to live in barracks. This training includes foot drill, arms drill, field craft, first aid, rifle marksmanship, tactical and physical training. During this stage of training they are also given weapons training on the Steyr Rifle and the General Purpose Machine Gun.
Recruits are taken on as the need arises. You should apply directly to your nearest brigade manpower office or the Defence Force Headquarters when a competition is launched. At present (Feb 2013) there is no General Service Recruitment to the Defence Forces.
THE PRISON SERVICE
The Irish Prison Service is responsible for providing and maintaining a safe, secure and humane environment for the confinement of all persons committed to prison in accordance with law. It is a key component in our country's criminal justice system ensuring safer community life. The Recruit Prison Officer (RPO) is the entry level to the Service.
The mission statement of the Irish Prison Service is to provide safe, secure and humane custody for people who are sent to prison. The Service is committed to managing custodial sentences in a way that encourages and supports prisoners in their endeavouring to live law abiding and purposeful lives as valued members of society. That is, the responsibilities and functions of our Prison Service are to:
- Operate an efficient, effective and humane prison system.
- Keep in custody those committed by the courts and provide an appropriate level of security.
- Maintain good order and control throughout the prison system.
- Treat those in custody with care and dignity and ensure they have facilities for the promotion of their well-being.
- Encourage the rehabilitation of prisoners and to prepare them for release.
- To facilitate prisoners in maintaining links with family and community.
|Prison Service - Careers Information
Recruitment to the Prison service is through www.publicjobs.ie
THE FIRE SERVICE
The vast majority of Local Authorities have their own fire brigade stations. The biggest fire brigade is in Dublin where 740 fire fighters respond to 750,000 calls a year. Applicants should generally be between the age of 20 and 25 years. However many of the positions around the country are part-time.
There is a wide range of work available within the security business. There are many positions available for security persons protecting and guarding banks and premises such as retail stores from the risk of theft. There are also positions available from doormen to bouncers in night clubs. There are no set qualifications required to work in this business. Security personnel need to be in good health and in good physical condition.
Security Guards are required to be alert and vigilant at all times. Remaining cool and being able to handle conflict well are attributes that private security companies look for. Much of the work is carried out during anti-social hours as most buildings need to be guarded at night-time. Most companies will train their own people on the job. There are a number of courses now available through FAS and the Dublin Institute of Technology.