Fianna Fáil Spokesperson for Justice and Equality, Jim O’Callaghan TD says a motion being brought forward by the party is in response to the growing intolerance of repeated criminal activity including burglary which is taking place in communities across Ireland.

Commenting this morning ahead of today’s Private Members’ Business, Deputy O’Callaghan said, “Much emphasis is placed on the level of criminality that is taking place in rural communities but it’s also important to recognise that urban areas are affected too.

“Constituents in my own area are in touch all too regularly about robberies and attempted burglaries on their homes.

“This Government’s failure to address the need for more Gardaí on the ground has undoubtedly increased fear in many communities and is leaving those, particularly in rural areas unprotected. Restoring a strong Garda presence in rural Ireland needs to be an urgent priority for this Government.

“The re-opening of rural Garda stations which were closed by Fine Gael in 2013 is an essential component of the response that is needed to deliver greater public confidence in the effective policing of our communities.

“Mechanisms such as Garda controlled CCTV and GPS tracking also play an important role in detecting and deterring criminal activity.

“Tougher amendments to current legislation are required to tackle the level of organised crime that is so damaging to communities up and down the country.

“Fianna Fáil believes that electronic monitoring should be made a condition of bail for anyone convicted of a serious offence in the previous 10 years, while measures should be taken to allow the State to recoup the cost of legal aid from a person subsequently convicted of an offence.

“Fine Gael has always claimed to be the party of law and order but their record since 2011 shows that when it comes to being tough on crime, they have clearly lost their way.

O’Callaghan concluded, “I am hopeful that this motion to combat and protect against the rise in rural crime will receive full, cross–party support.”