Fianna Fáil Spokesperson on Justice Niall Collins has welcomed the commencement of garda recruitment at a time when numbers in the force are slipping to a dangerously low level.
Deputy Collins is now calling on the Minister for Justice Alan Shatter to ask the Garda Commissioner Martin Callinan to carry out an audit of the areas and units within An Garda Síochána that need extra resources.
“The recommencement of garda recruitment is extremely welcome. This is a long overdue step. It comes at a time when the force has been subjected to sustained cuts and desperately needs more resources and more manpower,” said Deputy Collins.
“I very much welcome the fact that Minister Shatter, who backed down on his promise to restart garda recruitment last year, has now seen the pressing need to open Templemore without further delay. He has also promised an overall intake of 300 garda recruits in 2014. This is an important step forward and it must signal a Government commitment to boost garda numbers across the country on a longer term basis.
“What we need now is a full audit of garda units and garda districts to see which areas most need additional manpower. Over the last two years, we have seen communities lose their garda stations and garda vehicles; we have seen garda districts lose some specialised units; and we have seen major gaps appearing in vital units within in the force. It is crucial that the areas that most need a boost in garda presence receive that boost as a result of this new round of garda recruitment.”