Ó Domhnaill slams plans to slash garda numbers amid ‘crime wave’ in Donegal

Donegal Senator Brian Ó Domhnaill has hit out at the Minister for Justice Alan Shatter for what he describes as a ‘slash and burn’ of garda resources in Donegal.

 

According to Senator Ó Domhnaill, it defies logic to dramatically reduce garda numbers this year and shut down local garda stations while Donegal is experiencing a crime wave.

 

The Fianna Fáil Senator was reacting to reports that garda management are seeking to cut garda numbers by over 1,400 this year following the Justice Minister’s decision to slash the garda payroll budget.  This is in addition to Minister Shatter’s plan to shut down an additional 100 garda stations in the coming months, including 5 stations across Co Donegal.

 

“People just cannot understand how Minister Shatter can justify this further attack on community garda resources as the rate of burglaries and thefts in Donegal and in rural communities across the West and North West continues to rise.  The Government closed and downgraded dozens of small garda stations last year and this, coupled with a ban on garda overtime a ban on recruitment and a reduction in garda resources, happened as burglary rates surged in rural communities nationwide.

 

“Many homes in my own area were targeted by thieves over the Christmas period and we saw the shocking attack on 96 year old Margaret ‘Greta’ Lilly during a burglary at her home in Aghilly last weekend.  But instead of taking action to address this crime wave, the Government’s answer is to dismantle our local garda force even further.

 

“If these cuts go ahead, it will bring the garda force more than a decade back in time. Such drastic reductions in such a short period of time will throw the force into disarray and reduce community policing to dangerously low levels.

 

“The bottom line is that we cannot allow this to happen.  Fianna Fáil has called for a special meeting of the Oireachtas Committee on Justice at the earliest possible opportunity to bring urgent clarity to an issue that we believe is of national importance and has a direct impact on public safety.”

Posted: Jan 9, 2013     |     Categories: Uncategorized