Traditional Irish Police Force Seeks to Recruit Muslims, Jews, Sikhs

October 6, 2005

Source: Ireland Online

On October 6, 2005 Ireland Online reported, "Gardaí [Irish police officers] from ethnic communities may be allowed to wear turbans on duty in a bid to attract new members to the force, it emerged today. The changes are part of a major recruitment campaign which will increase the size of the force to 14,000 members. Superintendent John Grogan said the force was committed to adapting its uniforms, dietary practices and working patterns to suit recruits from Muslim, Jewish, Sikh and other communities. 'It’s a problem that has been solved in every other police force and An Garda Síochána [the Irish police force] will be no different in that regard. The commissioner is open to the change and we have invited applications from ethnic minorities,' he said. Muslim recruits may be allowed to wear turbans on duty and break from shifts to pray five times a day. Sikhs may be permitted to retain important parts of their culture, such as keeping their hair uncut and wearing ceremonial daggers. Superintendent Grogan, who works in the Garda human resources section, said the intention was to assimilate the new members throughout the force, rather than to use them to police their own community."