The tradition of organised policing in Ireland can be traced back to the establishment of the County Constabulary in 1822 - this was a uniformed police force formed on a regional basis.

Pearse Street Garda Station, Dublin In 1836 the Irish Constabulary (later to be known as the Royal Irish Constabulary) and the Dublin Metropolitan Police were established to replace the County Constabulary. In 1922 the Royal Irish Constabulary was disbanded on the foundation of the new Irish Free State, as this country was then called, and the Garda Síochána was formed.

In 1925, the Dublin Metropolitan Police was amalgamated with the Garda Síochána.

Today, the Garda Síochána (meaning in English: "The Guardians of the Peace") as the national police service, exercises all police functions in the country. It provides the State security services and all criminal and traffic law enforcement functions are performed by it.

The strength of the service is 11,747, which includes 1,700 detectives who always operate in civilian attire. There are, in addition, 1,140 civilian support staff.

Serving the Public Uniformed members of the Garda Síochána do not carry firearms. It is a proud tradition of the service that standard policing is carried out in both rural and urban areas by uniformed officers equipped only with a modest wooden truncheon. Firearms are carried by detectives.

"The Garda Síochána will succeed, not by force of arms or numbers, but by their moral authority as servants of the people." Commissioner Michael Staines (1885-1955), The First Commissioner of An Garda Síochána.

Pages of related interest:

Garda Museum & Archives Section

History of the Garda Depot, Phoenix Park

Garda Commissioners since 1922

History of the Scott Medal

Garda National Drug Unit National Bureau Of Criminal Investigation
Criminal Assets Bureau Special Detective Unit
Garda Bureau Of Fraud Investigation National Immigration Bureau
Organisational Development Unit