Greatest drop in Garda numbers along Cavan and Monaghan border – Senator Reilly
Speaking today Sinn Fein Senator Kathryn Reilly has commented on the drop in the number of Gardaí in the border region, and particularly the drop in Cavan and Monaghan.
Responding to an article on thejournal.ie, Sinn Féin Senator Kathryn Reilly stated:
“In percentage terms, Cavan and Monaghan have seen the greatest reductions in Gardaí stationed along the border counties between 2010 and 2015. With a reduction of 27.58% in Monaghan and 18.47% in Cavan, these counties surpass in percentage terms other counties like Leitrim 5.95%, Louth 14% and Donegal 15.6%.
“These figures highlighted in an article by journalist Michelle Hennessy on the realities of border policing paint a negative picture for the border counties, particularly Cavan and Monaghan. The recent decision to temporarily relocate Gardaí from the division to Louth, while needed there, will not deal with the issues in the medium to long term.
“It is against this backdrop that we see the creation of environment in which crime is increasing: a reduction of Gardaí available and closures of Garda stations is well known to increase cases of theft and burglary.
“The decisions to close Garda stations in order to make small savings to the exchequer merely increase the opportunity for criminal activity and add to the uncertainty and fear that citizens in this state are already experiencing.
“Since Fine Gael and Labour took up office in 2011 they have depleted Garda numbers by 1,066 leaving the current strength of the force at under 13,000. In order for the force to be fit for purpose and meet the demands of community policing, the government must increase investment in Garda personnel to bring numbers back to pre-recession levels.
“Sinn Fein has repeatedly called for an increase in Garda numbers back over the safe threshold of 14,000 and keep the numbers there with ongoing recruitment. In our alternative budget we provisioned for and costed an increase of 1,000 Gardaí over a two year period.
“The issue of Garda numbers and available resources is crucial to communities across the state but especially in the border region.”