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Millions spent on Garda overtime while gun crime on the rise – O’Brien

26 May, 2011 - by Jonathan O'Brien TD

Speaking following recent gun attacks in Dublin which left one man dead and one injured, Sinn Féin Spokesperson on Justice Jonathan O’Brien has said that the Minister for Justice should provide adequate funding to the gardaí to tackle the scourge of gun crime instead of ploughing millions into garda overtime.

Speaking from Leinster House Deputy O’Brien said:

“On a yearly basis, the amount of money spent on Garda overtime has ranged from €77.7 million in 2005 to €135.4 million in 2007.

“Last year the figure was €76.6 million. This is an excessive amount of money which cannot be justified, particularly in these very difficult times. The size of last week’s over the top security operation to facilitate the visit by the English Queen to our capital city will undoubtedly skew this year’s figures upwards.

“Despite the many challenges facing rural and urban based communities across this state, each year a significant portion of garda resources are misdirected into policing operations of questionable value. This information also shows there is a clear need for additional gardaí who are needed to make our streets safer.

“One example is the garda operation in defence of Shell at Bellanaboy, County Mayo which in 2009 cost €11 million in garda overtime alone - more than half of the €20 million budget ring-fenced for Operation Anvil, the intended focus of which is organised crime.

“The misuse of overtime by An Garda is an indication that the organisation is not functioning properly. These most recent figures are indicative of a serious problem in the management of resources and it is a matter that this government must address immediately.”

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