By Dan Walsh
Following his first Budget as Minister of State for Law Reform, Wexford TD James Browne has welcomed the additional funding for the Department of Justice and Equality within the 2021 Budget – a record €3 billion allocation to fund important changes within the Justice sector for next year. This amounts to an overall funding increase of 6%.
Minister Browne explained; “I’m glad to see that Budget 2021 increases our State’s investment in the Justice sector. Up to 620 new Garda recruits will be recruited next year while 500 administrative staff will be recruited to facilitate the redeployment of trained Gardaí to frontline policing. An extra €7.5 million will fund the purchase of additional Garda vehicles and increased telecommunications and vehicle fit out costs. A new Forensic Science Ireland Laboratory will be constructed.
“Additional measures will fund an inquest into the Stardust tragedy as well as courts service modernisation and prison service compensation schemes. Importantly, the Budget allocation enbles the implementations protections for vunerable witnesses in sexual offenders cases.
“Capital investment in the justice sector will benefit from an extra €50 million, up now to €258 million. This will lead to better ICT services within An Garda Síochána and the Courts Service. Over €27 million will go towards COVID-19 supports too”, Minister Browne added.