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Justice | An Garda Síochána access to counselling

To ask the Minister for Justice the extent to which members of An Garda Síochána, injured or traumatised in the course of their duty have access to appropriate counselling; and if she will make a statement on the matter.


As the Deputy will be aware, in accordance with the Garda Síochána Act 2005 (as amended), the Garda Commissioner is responsible for the management and administration of An Garda Síochána, which includes Garda HR matters. As Minister, I have no direct role in these matters.

However, I am pleased to note that the Garda Employee Assistance Service provides a proactive response to support and assist all Garda personnel in managing and resolving work and personal difficulties at an early stage, and in an effort to maintain their health and wellbeing. 

The service provides a confidential, professional, support and assistance service to:

– Serving members and their families.
– Garda Trainees and Probationers.
– Retired members and their families.
– Reserve Gardaí.
– Garda Staff and their families.           
– Retired Members of external police services resident in the State.

I am informed that as of 8 June 2022, the service is supported by over 912 peer supporters within An Garda Síochána, located in each District/Division. Peer Supporters are colleagues who are appropriately trained to provide support to personnel who have been exposed to or experience a traumatic event in the workplace.

Peer Supporters are activated following a traumatic incident in the workplace and very often the immediate activation and response from a peer supporter has a huge impact in assisting colleagues in the aftermath of such occurrences.

I welcome the information that since 24 June 2016, a 24/7, 365 Independent Helpline and Counselling Service is available to all staff within An Garda Síochána with the service available for both work and personal difficulties. 

I am also informed that all Garda personnel may avail of six (6) free sessions of counselling per year, an additional two (2) will be provided if clinically approved with all appointments and consultants are arranged directly between the Service Provider and the staff member.



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