A public meeting in Loughrea last night (Tuesday 09 October) heard of escalating fears among Galway homeowners about the surge in burglaries and thefts in the county over the last number of months.

More than 100 people attended the meeting at the Loughrea Spa Hotel, organised by Fianna Fáil’s Spokesperson on Justice Niall Collins TD.

Speaking afterwards, Deputy Collins said, “People attended this meeting from areas across east Galway and Roscommon to voice their growing concerns about the increase in crime against householders and members of the public right across this region.  We heard story after story about homes in Galway and Roscommon being targeted by criminals, and burglars breaking into houses or simply walking through the front door to take what they want.

“It extremely traumatic experience for anyone to have their homes raided by criminals. The violation of privacy alone is very upsetting.  At the meeting, people expressed their serious concerns about the cutbacks to local garda resources, the threat of more garda station closures and downgrades, and the fall in garda numbers locally at a time when crime is on the increase in Galway. 

“I strongly believe that now is not the time to scale back on community garda resources.  People here are feeling more vulnerable than their homes than ever, and a strong garda presence in the community is essential for deterring criminals and easing the fears of local homeowners. The gardaí in Galway are working hard to protect communities from this crime increase, but the bottom line is that their resources are being scaled back due to decisions made in Dublin by the Minister for Justice Alan Shatter.  I will be working at national level to oppose Minister Shatter’s attempts to close garda stations in Galway at a time of escalating crime.”