A passing out parade with a difference the first all female Garda Síochána graduation in the history of the force.

The Garda Band provided the music at the graduation ceremony of the first all female class to graduate from the training college at Templemore, County Tipperary since it opened at McCann Barracks in 1964.

Minister of State at the Department of Justice Nuala Fennell, who also has special responsibility for Women’s Affairs and Family Law Reform, inspected the 22 Gardaí at the passing out parade.

The first 12 female recruits joined An Garda Síochána in 1959. Three hundred women now serve in the Gardaí including two inspectors and eight staff sergeants. In the most recent recruitment drive for women, 3,000 applied to join the force.

Among those taking part in the passing out parade was the reigning Rose of Tralee Brenda Hyland. A native of Ardfinnan in County Tipperary, she will be posted to work in Garda Headquarters in the Phoenix Park, Dublin.

Brenda Hyland says she is keen to make a success of her time in An Garda Síochána.

I’d like to pursue a career in the Gardaí, I’ve waited long enough to get in here, I’m not backing down.

An RTÉ News report broadcast on 15 September 1983. The reporter is Michael Walsh.