CELEBRATING WOMEN: Garda Sharon Maybury, Garda Gillian MacEoin, Garda Stephanie Hegarty, Garda Louise Rea, Garda Patricia Mayse and Garda Siobhan Barry at the 60th Anniversary of Women in AGS conference in The Great Southern Killarney yesterday (Thursday). Picture: Eamonn Keogh
By Michelle Crean
An Garda Síochána in the Southern Region commemorated the 60th anniversary of women joining as Garda members at an event in The Great Southern Hotel, Killarney yesterday (Thursday).
In July 1959, following a long-running campaign by civic groups and with the support of the then Garda Commissioner and Government, 12 women joined An Garda Siochana and were allocated to Pearse Street Station. Since then, women have made a crucial contribution to the organisation, as well as society. In December 1964, the first woman was allocated to the Southern Region and was stationed in the Bridewell, Cork.
“We not only celebrate the 60th anniversary of women joining An Garda Síochána, but also the contribution women have made to An Garda Síochána and to policing since then,” Assistant Commissioner Anne Marie McMahon, speaking at yesterday’s event (Thursday), said.
There are currently 3,780 females making up 27 percent of Garda members. This is above the European average for female representation within police services. In addition, 26 percent of the Garda reserve are female and 76 percent of Garda staff are also female.”
Earlier in the year, Commissioner Harris announced that An Garda Síochána would be establishing a Women’s Network to support and encourage women in the advancement of their careers in the organisation. The Network will be chaired by Chief Superintendent Margaret Nugent.