Sinn Féin condemn closure of another 100 Garda stations and scrapping of 14 rural policing districts
Speaking after the launch of the Annual Policing Plan 2013 by the Minister for Justice, Alan Shatter, Sinn Fein Justice Spokesperson Pádraig Mac Lochlainn TD condemned the confirmation from the Minister that 100 garda stations will be closed and 14 rural garda districts will be scrapped and remotely managed from urban centres next year. He described the plan as “a savage attack on rural Ireland”.
The Donegal North-East TD said:
“Today’s news that another hundred garda stations will be closed will be a further serious blow to rural Ireland as well as some urban communities who have already disproportionately suffered under the cuts regime imposed by this and the previous government. This savage attack will also see 14 rural garda districts closed in an effort to centralise the policing of huge swathes of rural Ireland in to urban areas.
“Both the Irish Farmers’ Association and the Garda Representatives Association, the representatives of rural Ireland and of the vast majority of gardaí, have repeatedly rejected these on-going station closures as they know the value of community policing. These are people who know rural communities unlike those who are in charge of drafting these proposals.
“The government are attempting to spin this reform of policing structures when we all know that is the austerity agenda at work here under the mask of ‘reform’.
“Sinn Féin put forward budget proposals this week demonstrating how the deficit could be closed without targeting frontline services. Rural communities should not have to suffer even more because of the fiscal ineptitude of the government.”