Fianna Fáil TD for Cavan-Monaghan Brendan Smith has appealed to the Justice Minister to ensure that additional Garda personnel are allocated to the Cavan-Monaghan Garda Division.
Since 2010, the Garda force across the division has been reduced by almost 20%, while Co. Monaghan alone has seen a 28% cut.
Deputy Brendan Smith warned, “The impending impact of Brexit in the border region, particularly in respect of policing issues, cannot be underestimated. However, the force in Cavan and Monaghan is well depleted. I have been appealing to the Justice Minister for some time to allocate additional personnel to the region.
“While the Minister talks about the Government’s commitment to “ensuring a strong and visible police presence throughout the country in order to maintain and strengthen community engagement, provide reassurance to citizens and to deter crime”, he has made no commitment to increasing Garda numbers in the Cavan-Monaghan division.
“Since 2014, we have only seen an additional 21 officers allocated to the division and I have grave concerns that the force is not adequately staffed to cope with any additional duties, which may arise as a result of Brexit.
“Minister Flanagan’s reply does not do anything to ally my fears. In fact, rural communities across the two counties have been expressing concern following a spike in anti-social behaviour and burglaries in recent weeks. The downgrading of Ballyconnell Garda Station has also raised fear and anger levels in neighbouring communities.
“Government needs to start taking the issue of Garda provision in the border area seriously. For too long, we have seen services reduced and communities deprived of essential amenities. I want Minister Flanagan to commit to additional Gardaí for the region – it has been left behind for too long and measures must be taken to ensure that we are fully prepared for any possible issues coming down the road as a result of Brexit”.