Fianna Fáil is to hold a public meeting in Newtowncunningham next week on the increase in burglaries in border areas and the impact of cuts to local garda resources.
 
The meeting, which takes place next Monday, will focus on the need to protect local garda stations particularly in light of a surge in crime in rural areas over the past year.
 
According to local Deputy Charlie McConalogue, “Recent figures show that Donegal and other border counties have seen an increase of 18% increase in burglaries in the year to the end of June.  The area around south Inishowen closest to the border has suffered particularly from burglary incidents in the last number of months.  
 
“This public meeting is aimed at highlighting the importance of protecting local garda resources and keeping our garda stations open.  The Minister for Justice Alan Shatter is currently considering a fresh round of cuts to rural garda stations, which could see more stations in Donegal and across the North West closed or downgraded.  This is unacceptable at a time when we see more households and more individuals in this region targeted by criminals,” the Donegal TD said.
 
Local Fianna Fáil councillor Paul Canning said, “The public meeting is open to anyone who has questions or concerns about the increase in crime in this area and cuts to garda resources.  I will give an overview of the particular challenges that need to be addressed regarding our local policing policy.  We also need to focus on how we, as a community, ensure that our homes and streets are as safe as possible,”.  
 
“The local gardaí work hard every day to protect our communities, but my concern is that this work has become increasingly difficult in the context of cuts imposed by Fine Gael and Labour over the past 18 months.  I and my party will strongly oppose any further cuts to our local garda resources.  Our policing service cannot be stretched any further by decisions made at national level that make absolutely no consideration of the particular challenges we face in Donegal,” concluded Cllr Canning.
 
The meeting will take place at the Columban Hall, Newtowncunningham oat 8pm Monday 15 October at 8pm.