Fianna Fáil TD and Spokesperson on Justice, Jim O’Callaghan has commented upon the fact that whilst there has been a decline in Garda resources in Dublin, Portlaoise has experienced an increase since the Justice Minister’s appointment in June 2017.

The Deputy was speaking yesterday during a special Dáil debate on the matter secured by Fianna Fáil’s team of Dublin TDs.

He said, “The Government points to the reopening of the Garda College in Templemore as evidence of progress in bolstering the strength of An Garda Síochána.

“In reality as the Minister should be very well aware, not a single one of the 600 plus new Gardaí in Ireland has been stationed in Dublin.

“Information received by Fianna Fáil clearly highlights that there has been a steady decline in the number of Gardaí stationed in Dublin. The city is down nearly 100 Gardaí in the past 12 months and close to 1,000 since 2010. Over the same period there has been an increase from 114 to 137 Gardaí in Portlaoise; an increase of 20%.

“These are substantial numbers of personnel that are undoubtedly urgently required on our Capital’s streets as we speak to prevent crime and protect exceptionally vulnerable inner city communities.

“Some recent reports suggest that there have been reductions to high visibility armed patrols in key Garda districts affected by gangland activity, and that covert backup provided for by the Special Detective Unit has also been cut.

“This is against a backdrop of rising gangland killings, dangerous criminal activity including attacks on city pharmacies and outbreaks of violence in broad daylight.

“I don’t dismiss the fact that tackling rural crime is crucial and that Gardaí on the ground are required to do that, but the continuing rise in level of gangland associated criminality in Dublin is in serious need of address.

“City based criminals are all too cognisant of the fact that Garda resources are dwindling in Dublin and that the chances of their dangerous crimes being intercepted are becoming less and less.

He concluded, “Continuing to transfer much needed frontline resources down the country and failing to strike a balanced deployment of Gardaí will only continue to leave criminals ravage our Capital’s communities.”