Fianna Fáil TD for Kildare North Frank O’Rourke has called for a crackdown on crime, both rural and urban.

“At a very well attended public meeting in Rathcoffey last week, I heard from numerous people who have been targeted by burglar gangs in recent weeks. The Government needs to get tough with repeat offenders and ensure Gardaí are adequately staffed and equipped to protect communities.

Deputy O’Rourke continued, “There have been reports of particularly distressing crimes over recent months including violent armed robberies carried out on vulnerable older people living in rural areas. The problem is not confined just to rural areas, as many commuter belt towns in Kildare will attest to.

“It’s clear that gangs are targeting communities as they recognise the harm the Government has done to policing services in these areas by closing Garda stations and cutting back on resources down through the years.

“This needs to change – the Government needs to get tough on criminals and ensure they cannot target communities with impunity.

“Fianna Fáil is prioritising this issue in the Dáil this week. We are calling for additional resources for Gardaí and for the re-opening of rural Garda stations. Fianna Fáil is also looking for additional measures to crackdown on repeat offenders. We want to see electronic monitoring a condition of bail for anyone convicted of a serious offence in the previous 10 years. These measures, coupled with additional CCTV in rural areas, will help prevent criminals from targeting vulnerable people.

“People should not have to live in fear in their own homes. We need to see the Government get tough on criminals and protect our communities,” concluded Deputy O’Rourke.