Five vans to replace 143 closed garda stations is farcical- Sinn Féin
March 1, 2013
Responding to the news that five garda vans are to be deployed to replace the service to communities from 143 garda stations closed over the last year, Sinn Féin Justice Spokesperson, Pádraig Mac Lochlainn described the news as “farcical” and a “sticking plaster rather than a real solution”.
Deputy Mac Lochlainn said:
“This is just farcical. 143 garda stations have closed across the state. Policing is being decimated in rural communities. Garda numbers are being reduced dramatically. The numbers of garda vehicles have been reduced and many of the existing vehicles are not up to scratch due to heavy mileage.
And what is the solution? Five vans.
“We do not need a sticking plaster solution. We need real leadership and a real solution to a growing crisis.
“Garda morale is on the floor. Frontline gardaí will see an 8% cut to their pay under the new Croke Park deal. They have had to work under tougher and tougher conditions without the necessary back up in terms of personnel and vehicles. The Garda Representative Association and the Association of Garda Sergeants and Inspectors have continually made the crisis clear to both the Garda Commissioner and Minister Alan Shatter.
“I repeat my call on Minister Shatter to engage with the Garda representative organisations and to hear their concerns directly and find a real solution. Sadly, this proposal demonstrates how desperately the Minister requires a reality check.”