The primary training centre for An Garda Síochána, the Irish police force is the Garda College in Templemore, County Tipperary.

The minimum age for Garda recruits is 18 years, which means a number of new recruits will have worked elsewhere beforehand. Garda Laurence Coady from Carlow Garda Station was previously a journalist, but he does not think the two professions are that different, as both involve meeting people. As a Garda he hopes to be involved in the community working with the public.

Since women joined the police-force in 1959, they have been attracted to the profession in increasing numbers. Bean Garda Anita Feeley from Blackrock Garda Station decided to join the force when she attended her brother’s passing-out ceremony at Templemore College. A tall woman Anita had no problem meeting the minimum height restriction for the job. She considers her primary role as a policewoman is to help people.

I’m there for their sake, and whatever comes up I’ll do it if I can, and help them.

Training in Templemore lasts 22 weeks and recruits learn law and police duties in a classroom environment. The course also includes drill, swimming, first aid, self defence, Irish and physical training. The college also has a closed circuit television studio to help with public speaking and court room practicals are recorded and shown to recruits.

The second part of Garda training happens after the newly qualified Gardaí have completed a year on the beat. Bean Garda Bríd Doyle found some aspects of the training difficult, but is looking forward to being on the beat.

If you’re active on your beat, I don’t see why it should be boring.

Nowadays Gardaí are increasingly involved with risky situations however Laurence Coady is unfazed by danger.

When the crunch comes it’s just instinct.

An RTÉ News report by Andrew Kelly broadcast on 18 November 1981.