Local Fianna Fáil TD, Darragh O’Brien has said new measures are urgently required to crack down on crime in Fingal and protect the growing number of communities coming under threat by thugs.

Deputy O’Brien was commenting ahead of a public meeting he is holding with Local Councillor Eoghan O’Brien on crime and policing in the locality. The meeting will be held next Tuesday, November 27th at 7:30pm in St Sylvester’s Parish Centre, Malahide.

“As most in our area are more than aware of, there has been a serious spike in criminality in the north county in recent times,” he said.

“When others think of our area they assume Fingal is all a major urban centre, but there are large parts that are essentially rural Ireland. We encounter the same issues with a lack of broadband and are certainly forced to manage with poor Garda resources the same as many other rural communities nationwide.

“The number of Gardaí stationed across Fingal has plummeted by 20% since 2011. The fear and frustration that those cuts have caused was more than apparent at my last public meeting on crime back in May.

“In the almost 6 months since we’re no closer to the re-opening of Rush Garda Station and the station in Malahide is operating on limited hours. Donabate and Portane both have sizable populations but are without any Garda resources whatsoever. Residents across the county and the rural hinterland are all affected – Balrbiggan to Skerries to Lusk. Our capital town, Swords, which has the population the same size of a small city is also badly affected.

“Is it any wonder that lawless thugs are running amok when they know there is hardly any Garda capacity to enforce the law?

He added, “The muggings, serious assaults, burglaries and attacks on farmers all prove that ignoring the seriousness of the crime related issues in our region won’t make them go away; they are only continuing to happen more frequently and with more violence.

“We need to see this Government get tough on criminals, crackdown on repeat offenders and protect communities in the North County at all costs”, concluded Deputy O’Brien.