Former Kerry football star Aidan O’Mahony, who is a community garda in Tralee, is set to be a class tutor in the Pre-Garda Programme of Study unveiled yesterday.
The programme, which will be run at Kerry College of Further Education, is designed to give pupils a taste of life in the force before they decide to sign up for the Garda Training College in Templemore.
The principal of Kerry College of Further Education, Mary Lucey, said the Tralee Garda Division will give talks at the one-year course on the real-life challenges of a garda’s role.
“It’s to prepare those who wish to apply for a career as a guard at Templemore college,” she said. “A number of students may be attracted to the glamour side of the gardaí but they get the real-life story when they do the programme.
People sometimes don’t see the bigger picture of the role of a guard. They see maybe putting on a siren and being in a car chase but not the law and the physical exercise and other elements.
“We will have speakers from units like forensic crash units.”
She said students will study subjects that reflect day-to-day roles of gardaí.
“They will study law, criminology, conflict resolution, and communications. The input from the force will be the gardaí who come in on lectures and workshops. They will also be going to court.”
The aim of the programme is to produce ideal candidates to apply and progress to the Garda College although they will still have to meet the qualifying criteria.
Ms Lucey said: “We would envisage they would be very strong candidates. They will be going to Templemore college to get an insight into there. They won’t be going out with the gardaí because of confidentiality but they will be doing work placements.
“I wrote up a project proposal and put it to the division and the superintendent in Tralee and they all thought it was a great idea.”
She said students who do not go on to the Garda Training College will be able to use the Level 5 course to go on and study subjects like law and security.