Gardai won't be checking your passport at Dublin Airport anymore

NewsBy Shuki Byrne
Minister Frances Fitzgerald at Dublin Airport yesterday
Minister Frances Fitzgerald at Dublin Airport yesterday

Civilian immigration officers are replacing members of the Gardai at the country's main airport, the government has announced.

The number of Gardai stationed at Dublin Airport has halved since 2008, the aim of which is to free up officers for frontline police work.

Gardai at the airport were tasked with checking incoming travellers' documentation, but the Minister for Justice and Equality has confirmed those days are nearly over.

The civilianisation of passport checks and immigration booths to free up Gardaí for other frontline policing work was announced by the Minister in September, 2014. 

Speaking yesterday, Minister Frances Fitzgerald said: "When I announced this significant reform of how we deliver frontline immigration controls I was determined that these reforms would be delivered as quickly as possible. I am pleased with the significant progress that has been made to date and to be here today to acknowledge the delivery of phase one of this programme.

“In particular I am pleased that this programme is freeing up Gardaí for core policing duties and allowing the much reduced number of Gardaí who will continue to be based at the airport to focus on the policing and intelligence aspects of border control rather than routine immigration and passport checks.”

From October onwards, civilian immigration officials will be stationed at Dublin Airport to check documentation of incoming travellers.

Garda numbers at Dublin Airport have fallen from more than 120 in 2008 to just over 60 today with the number Gardaí assigned to the Airport set to be reduced by another 20 when the civilian roll-out is completed.
The programme will result in reduction in costs of the immigration function at Dublin Airport, from €7 million to approximately €3 million once completed.
In addition to the civilianisation programme a tender process for additional e-gates will commence shortly. The existing e-gates at Dublin Airport are operating very successfully with up to 17,500 persons a week using this facility at peak times.
The number of e-gates will increase very significantly with the roll-out of up to 15 additional gates commencing in the coming months.
These will further facilitate the smooth passage of travellers through the airport, Minister Fitzgerald said.