Pictured L-R: Emma Herlihy, Aoidhbhe Ducey & Sergeant Bryan Teahan, ASU  

How does An Garda Síochána approach a high-risk situation; what kind of decisions do they need to make, and what kind of equipment do they have at their disposal? Those were just some of the questions two students from Boherbue Comprehensive School in Cork had answered when they took part in a policing simulation exercise with the Garda Armed Support Unit.

The Transition Year students were involved in the simulation as part of their prize for The Pitch – The Publicjobs.ie Schools Advertising Challenge. The competition, organised by the Public Appointments Service via its website, publicjobs.ie, challenged post-primary students to create an advertisement pitching the public sector as an attractive career pathway to their fellow students. With prizes such as an opportunity to interview the Taoiseach; a trip to an Irish Coast Guard helicopter base, and the chance to participate in a policing simulation at An Garda Síochána up for grabs, more than 100 students from across the country stepped up to the challenge, with video submissions in Irish and in English. The Cork students – Aoidhbe Ducey and Emma Herlihy – were the joint runners-up.

As part of their day, the students met with members of the Garda Armed Support Unit and were given a briefing on the various roles and responsibilities of the team members. They were also shown the personal equipment carried by team members, as well as the in-vehicle equipment. They then took part in a scenario exercise, standing side-by-side with the members of the Armed Support Unit in an exercise to de-escalate the mock situation, which involved a hostage being held at gunpoint.  

Student Aoidhbe Ducey said:

“We got to take part in a Garda investigation simulation and to figure out the ins-and-outs of what they do. We learned a lot also about how the guards are very involved in medical stuff also – we didn’t realise that at all.”

Guidance counsellor at Boherbue Comprehensive School, Sinead O’Sullivan stated:

“The prize day was absolutely fab, the girls really enjoyed it and from start to finish it was a brilliant day.”

Superintendent Padraic Powell from Fermoy Garda Station said:

“It was a great pleasure to host the students from Boherbue Comprehensive School at our policing simulation exercise and to give them an insight into some of the policing work in which we are involved. Our mission is simple – keeping people safe – and we do this with the help and support of the people of Ireland. Our work is varied. It includes community policing, roads and public order policing, and detective work, which involves investigating all sorts of crime, including murder, drugs, fraud, cyber and organised crime.” 

“Being a garda is a challenging and exciting role which gives us the opportunity to work in partnership with communities to make a positive difference. We would encourage anyone who is interested in making a difference on a daily basis to consider a career in An Garda Síochána.”

Chief executive of the Public Appointments Service, Shirley Comerford added:

“The public sector is made up of such a range of exciting and rewarding careers and it was fantastic to be able to show the students from Boherbue Comprehensive School some of the work of An Garda Síochána. I know they found it hugely interesting. I would like to thank An Garda Síochána for sharing with us its approach to policing in Ireland and for allowing us a glimpse into a policing simulation."

“The jobs currently on offer on publicjobs.ie span a wide range of industries and locations and include roles suitable for school-leavers, graduates, career-changers and the most senior of executives. I would encourage anyone considering their career options to take a look at what a career in the public sector could offer them.”