The Garda Mounted Unit was established in March, 1998, commencing operations with six horses. Since then a further three fully Irish bred horses have been acquired. The personnel strength of the Unit consists of one Sergeant and eight Gardai.
The Mounted Unit stables are located at Aras an Uachtaráin (the official residence of the Irish President), with the kind permission of her excellency, Mrs. Mary McAleese, The President. The stables are modern purpose-built buildings which include an accommodation block with offices and a classroom; additional stabling; an extended tack room; forge and a wide variety of necessary equine and yard facilities.
As part of the ongoing development of the Unit, a number of Garda members are now fully proficient in both schooling young horses and training riders, making the Unit completely self sufficient in these disciplines.
Although a national resource, the Unit carries out Patrols at Dublin City Centre on a daily basis, when not required elsewhere. They are also deployed throughout the Dublin Metropolitan Region as part of regular crime prevention patrols and at special events including sporting fixtures at Croke Park, Lansdowne Road and Tolka Park.
As a national Unit, members and mounts have attended many events throughout the country as part of the overall policing plan, including such events as the Ballinasloe Horse Fair, The Slane Rock Concert, the National Ploughing Championships and the St Patrick's Day Parade in Dublin.
In conjunction with local Garda Neighbourhood Policing initiatives, members of the Garda Mounted Unit have become involved with the Fettercairn Horse Project, Tallaght; Baskin Equestrian Centre, Coolock and the Ballymun Horse Project. These initiatives have proved to be very worthwhile for the Unit, the local participants and for Garda/Community relations generally.
Mounted patrols have proved to be a very effective policing tool, primarily as a crime prevention strategy. From a crime detection aspect the Unit have contributed, directly and indirectly, to the arrest of some 136 persons along with the recovery of stolen vehicles and a number of drug seizures in the first two years of operation.
The Garda Mounted unit has been called in to the Coolock Sub District to perform regular patrols in the area. There was an article in a Local paper explaining the situation. If you wish to view the article please click here