The price of peace: statistics from An Garda Síochána reveal the risks members of the force must deal with daily.

It is common knowledge that occupational hazards are very much part and parcel of choosing an occupation with An Garda Síochána. The first half of the 2010s it seems however, were particularly dangerous years for members of the force.

Figures released from An Garda Síochána’s Freedom of Information office have revealed the number of injuries sustained by members of the force since 2008. Most notable of these statistics are the number of assaults on gardaí and the number of road accidents, which have taken place.

2008 as shown below reveals that the number of recorded assaults on members of the force had begun to see a decrease from 2009 onwards, only to skyrocket in 2013. The figures continue to elevate to just under 300 attacks on gardaí in 2015. Interestingly however, the number eases in 2016 and has reached 153 so far this year.

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On duty members of the gardaí throughout 2010 to 2016 have been involved in a large number of road traffic related accidents, with figures of injuries sustained by gardaí reaching almost 100 per year. 2009 saw a drop by about 22%, only to increase again by another 30% the year after. The trend eases in 2011 to 84, but rises until 2013 to 128 accidents, a spike of 35% in the space of two years.

This current year, however, the figures for recorded road accidents stand at 61.

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Figures from the garda appropriation accounts of 2016 have shown that the number of garda vehicles damaged over the past eight years have risen substantially. While 2008 saw 482 recorded vehicles damaged in the year, both attributable and not attributable to gardaí, that figure has not once decreased since then.

The number of damaged vehicles peaks in 2015 at 682, the closest figures to that being 667 damaged vehicles in 2011 and 639 2012. There has however been a somewhat significant decrease in these numbers last year with the number of damaged vehicles totalling 602, an easing of 11.8%.

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By Henry Phipps

Unemployment rate falls to post-recession low

Unemployment in Ireland is at its lowest since before the economic crash of 2008, according to new data from the Central Statistics Office (CSO).

The latest figures from the CSO show that the seasonally adjusted unemployment rate for October fell to 6 percent, down from 6.1 percent in September.

The unemployment rate has continuously decreased in the last year, with a 1.2 percent decrease between October 2016 and October 2017.

The figures released show that 131,300 people in Ireland were unemployed in October 2017, compared to the 158,100 people who were unemployed in Ireland during the same month last year.

Although the unemployment rate is higher in males than females, both rates decreased in the last year. In October 2017, the seasonally adjusted unemployment rate was 6.7 percent for males, down from 6.8 percent in September 2017 and down from 8.1 percent in October 2016.

The seasonally adjusted unemployment rate for females in October 2017 was 5.1 percent, which remained unchanged from September 2017 and was down from 6.1 percent in October 2016.

The unemployment rate for young people aged 15 to 24 years is still higher than the unemployment rate for people aged 25-74 at 14 percent in October 2017 down from 14.7 percent in September 2017. However, unemployment in young people decreased by 2.7 percent between October 2016 and October 2017.  The unemployment rate in people aged from 25 to 74 has remained unchanged since June 2017 at 5.2 percent.

The Department of Finance has predicted that the unemployment rate in Ireland will fall below 6 percent by the end of the year.

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Unemployment expected to dip below 6% before the year’s end.

Fiona McCudden from the Department of Business, Enterprise and Innovation directed thecity.ie to the government’s ‘Action Plan for Jobs’ initiative as one explanation for the encouraging employment figures.

The most recent plan released by the government in February of this year details 164 actions and 430 measures to be implemented throughout the year 2017 by 16 Government departments and 43 agencies under the department’s remit.

The plans aim to support job-creating businesses and remove barriers to employment. It also attempts to prepare businesses for unexpected disruption to the employment sector, such as Brexit, by providing advice on minimising risk regarding exports, investment and expansion etc.

Since the first ‘Action Plan for Jobs’ was released in 2012, the unemployment rate has fallen by nine percent, but positive economic growth across all sectors of the economy is undoubtedly a contributing factor to these promising figures.

By Cara Croke and Chris Kelly

More public transport journeys despite 2016 strikes

Most Dubliners chose to travel on Dublin Bus in 2016 according to new figures released by the Central Statistics Office (CSO).

Over 125 million bus journeys were taken over the course of the twelve months. The number of bus journeys taken in 2016 jumped 2.7 percent from 2015.

DB
Source: CSO

November was the most popular month for Dublin Bus, with 11,318,902 journeys taken. A sharp decrease in Dublin Bus journeys was seen in September 2016. That coincided with the bus strikes which plagued the capital across five days in September.

DB monthly
Source: CSO

Rail journeys in 2016 increased to just shy of 43 million, up from just over 39.5 million the previous year. This gave a total increase of 7.96 percent.

RAIL
Source: CSO

While the total number of journeys taken across all Irish Rail services (including DART and commuter services) took a hit in 2013, the total number of journeys have increased by an average of 5.2 percent per year since.

DART
Source: CSO

Overall, 44.3 percent of all rail journeys taken in 2016 were on the DART. DART journeys increased to nearly 19 million in 2016, an increase of 10.7 percent from 2015. DART journeys also increased dramatically in 2015, up 7.5 percent from the previous year.

The only form of public transport in Dublin that did not see an increase in 2016 was the Luas. There was a decrease of over 500,000 journeys.

LUAS
Source: CSO

This decrease of 1.65 percent was uncharacteristic for the Luas as journeys had increased year on year from 2012 to 2015.

The Red Line proved to be more popular with commuters, with 22.4 percent more journeys taken on the Red Line than the Green Line in 2016.

Luas lines
Source: CSO

Like Dublin Bus, the Luas was also hit by twelve days of industrial action in 2016. This can be seen in the sharp decrease in the amount of journeys taken on the Red Line between April and June. The strike did not, however, seem to have as dramatic an effect on the Green Line, with journeys increasing between May and June despite several strike days.

These figures, announced last week as part of the CSO’s annual travel omnibus, are released as further transport strikes threaten to leave commuters stranded. Iarnród Éireann strikes are set to affect more than 150,000 daily commuters amid rows over pay. Rail workers are looking for 11 percent pay increases over the next three years.

The first strike took place on Wednesday 1st November, with further strikes planned for the 7th, 14th and 23rd of November, as well as the 8th of December.

Reports in Irish newspapers recently suggested that workers may also strike on Christmas Eve.

By Louise Burne