Fianna Fáil Justice Spokesperson Jim O’Callaghan TD has said the fact that at least one in six Garda Stations in the State cannot access the PULSE system due to a lack of internet connectivity, is an outright failure of Government.
“Earlier this year, the Minister confirmed to me in correspondence that there were 111 Garda Stations in the State which did not have an internet connection and as such could not access ICT services including the PULSE system,” explained Deputy O’Callaghan.
“I have repeatedly sought the details of these 111 stations and was advised that the Garda Commissioner would respond via the Department with this information.
“A period of almost three months passed, during which time I followed up with the Department seeking a reply.
“Just this week, I received a letter from Minister Flanagan in which he indicated that there are 90 stations nationwide without internet. An enclosed table shows there are 76 stations operating without internet, ICT or PULSE and that “work is ongoing” in another 15 stations.
“The figures do not add up and I would be somewhat concerned about the accuracy of the Department’s data if I have been cited three entirely different figures in relation to one single query.
“I will be making a formal complaint to the Ceann Comhairle in this regard.
He added, “How can it be that in this day and age members of An Garda Síochána could be expected to police or operate without basic access to an ICT system or the PULSE system? It is not possible for Gardaí to perform their duties effectively if they do not have high speed consistent access to the internet. It is totally unacceptable.
“Instead we expect the public to rely on the accuracy of a network that many Gardaí do not have access to in their station. The failure to connect Garda stations to the Internet is a serious failure of Government,” concluded O’Callaghan.