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Garda crisis must be addressed by minister for justice

25 January, 2013 - by Pádraig Mac Lochlainn

Speaking in Donegal today, following his meeting with Asst Garda Commissioner, Kieran Kenny, Sinn Féin justice spokesperson, Padraig MacLochlainn TD, called on justice minister Alan Shatter to instigate emergency talks with organisations representing gardaí to address the crisis in policing.

His call came as the Association of Garda Sergeants and Inspectors (ASGI) withdrew from talks on the extension of the Croke Park Agreement saying it would not tolerate further cuts in pay.

“Along with the Garda Representative Association, the ASGI has expressed concern at cuts in garda numbers, shortage of garda vehicles and the closure of garda stations.

“Speak to gardaí in any part of the state and they will tell you they fear they can no longer provide a service to the public. Both representative organisations recognise the seriousness of the situation.

“I asked to meet the Assistant Commissioner today to discuss policing in Donegal where attacks on old people in their own homes have caused devastation in their lives, worry and stress to their families and in some cases have forced older people to leave the homes they have lived in all their lives.”

“I have been reassured that the Garda Siochana has taken steps to combat these attacks in Donegal. A specific operation, LEAH, has been put in place, providing extra personnel and resources to the area. The Asst Commissioner reported that 11 arrests have been made on both sides of the border and some stolen property has been recovered.”

"However, this kind of garda operation should be the norm, rather than the exception, all over the state and it should not take a crisis as happened in Donegal for gardaí to be properly resourced."


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