Fianna Fail TD for Cavan-Monaghan Niamh Smyth says more resources need to be invested in the Cavan-Monaghan Garda division to curb rising rural crime rates.

New figures released to Deputy Smyth reveal that there were 21 new Gardaí allocated to the division since recruitment resumed in Templemore.  This compares to 42 new Gardaí for Louth and 66 for the Dublin North division.

“The Cavan-Monaghan Garda division has been left behind by Fine Gael.  The Justice Minister and her Cabinet colleagues appear to be solely focused on bulking up Garda numbers in the Dublin divisions, while leaving the rest of the country with a vastly reduced force”, said Deputy Smyth.

“Rural crime is one of the biggest issues affecting people living in Cavan and Monaghan.  Recent reports have indicated that gangs are now targeting rural areas and are travelling along regional and back roads, where detection rates are lower.  In fact, a recent survey carried out by the ICSA, found that two thirds of farmers have been affected by crime over the past three years.

“The decision by Fine Gael to close rural stations in 2013 has had an impact on crime rates in these communities, with many people seriously concerned by the lack of a visible Garda presence in their towns and villages.  Added to this is the fact that the Cavan-Monaghan division has been without a dedicated drugs unit since 2013 – which is an unacceptable situation, given the division’s proximity to the border.

“Rural Ireland, and Cavan and Monaghan in particular, do not seem to be a priority for this Government.  Even when resources are allocated, there are significant delays in projects being rolled out.  More than 18 months have passed since approval for a new Garda Station for Bailieborough was announced, but there has been virtually no progress on the issue.  While indicative of this Government’s attitude to the border region, this delay is unacceptable and must be addressed as a matter of priority”, concluded Deputy Smyth.