For much of the twentieth century, Ireland was quite unusual in comparison with other western European nations in its exclusion of women from policing. By the time women were allowed to join the national police force, the Garda Síochána, in 1957, women were already established in the police forces of Britain, Germany and France, as well as that of Northern Ireland. Further afield, women were already employed in police forces in Poland, New Zealand and the U.S. The appointment of women police was a major demand of feminists, moral campaigners and social reformers during the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries, all of whom sought better protections for women. As in the U.K., U.S. and many European countries, women’s organisations in the Irish Free State were to the forefront of the debate over the need for women police. Beginning with the Irish Women’s Suffrage and Local Government Association (I.W.S.L.G.A.) in 1915, women’s organisations such as the National Council of Women, Joint Committee of Women’s Societies and Social Workers (J.C.W.S.S.W.), and the Catholic Women’s Federation campaigned relentlessly for nearly half a century in the face of governmental indifference and obstruction. When the first class of ‘experimental’ women police emerged in 1958 from the Garda training college in Templemore, County Tipperary, women’s organisations hailed it as a victory.