Menu Search
Mark Spain , Garda Trainee
Security, Defence & Law Enforcement

Mark Spain , Garda Trainee

Mark left his job in the Civil Service where he had worked for seven years to join An Garda Síochána at age 29. He was also a member of The Garda Reserve prior to beginning his studies in Templemore which he highly advocates for giving the best insight into the work of the Gardaí.

Ask me your
first question!

What were the main 'career decision' milestones in your life so far?

Leaving my job at the age 29 to join An Garda Síochana.

Who are the people who most influenced your career direction?

Most of the staff from the Garda College, both civilians and Gardaí.

How did you go about getting your current job?

I applied through and was guided through the process.

Describe a typical day?

We have class from 9am - 5pm every day where we have very practical classes learning the legal aspect as well as the practical policy elements. There is also a high emphasis on physical fitness for duty.

What are the main tasks and responsibilities?

Being students we are responsible for turning ourselves out to a high standard everyday and being punctual for class. We are also expected to have the required knowledge fresh in our minds at all times.

What are the main challenges?

A lot of the subjects are done through independent learning so self motivation is a really important part of college life.

What's cool?

The comradery with my classmates. We all bonded very quickly and there is a good atmosphere in class all the time.

What's not so cool?

The pay at the moment. Coming from a full time job it was very hard to adapt to the allowance paid during training.

What particular skills do you bring to your workplace?

I worked in the public service for 7 years so I am quite good with IT and report writing so I help out the others in my class whenever I can with these things.

What subjects did you take in school and how have these influenced your career path?

Engineering / Physics / Construction / French.

I'd like to think these gave me a good ability to solve problems as well as helping me to have a good hands on approach to things.

What is your education to date?

Leaving Certificate. National Certificate in Business Computing from LIT and a certificate in physical fitness and conditioning for sport from Setanta College.

What aspects of your education have proven most important for your job?

It would be hard to pin point if any particular aspect has been overly important. I think my time working in the Garda College and working in the Garda Reserve has been the most important.

What have been the most rewarding events in your career so far?

As we are all still in training I think so far the most rewarding part has been making it through a tough recruitment campaign.

What personal qualities do you have that helps you in your career?

I think I have a good ability to talk to people and am fairly easy going when people approach me.

What is your dream job?

At the moment I am happy to get through my training. An Garda Síochána has massive scope for movement in different areas so there will be lots of options.

What advice would you give to someone considering this job?

If you are unsure I would recommend coming to an open day in the college and if possible also doing the Garda Reserve. It gives the best insight imaginable into the work of Gardaí.

What are the three most important personal characteristics required for the job?

Communication skills, Patience and a lot of common sense.

What is your pet hate at work?

People having no regards for other members of their team.

Have you undertaken, or do you plan to undertake any further training as part of your job?

We can't apply for courses while in training but I would be interested in family liaison training as it is so important to families stricken by crime.

What kinds of work experience would provide a good background for this position?

There is work experience in stations available for TY students and in the Garda Reserve.

What is your current job title?

Garda Trainee

Ask a question about...
  • Career Development?
  • Current Job?
  • Education and Training?
  • Personal Qualities?
  • Advice for Others?