Fianna Fáil TD for Kildare North Frank O’Rourke says he will meet with senior Garda management in the coming weeks to discuss policing issue in Kildare.

Deputy O’Rourke made the comments after securing a meeting with Assistant Commissioner Fintan Fanning and Garda Superintendent for the Kildare Division Gerard Roche.

Deputy O’Rourke said, “I’ve been in contact with Garda management to seek a meeting to discuss policing issues and to seek an update on the resources assigned to the Kildare Division. I previously met with Garda management in December 2016 and found the meeting to be informative and constructive. It was an opportunity to press the need for additional Garda patrols in areas which have been targeted by criminal gangs.

“In particular I will be seeking an update on the number of new Gardaí due to be assigned to the Kildare Division in the coming months. Three new classes will begin training in Templemore in May, August and November respectively. I’m hopeful that Kildare will get its fair share of new recruits once their training in Templemore is complete.

“The latest available figures demonstrate that there were 338 Gardaí assigned to Kildare in 2010, but this figure fell to 313 in 2015 and then to 307 in 2016. Fianna Fáil has been pushing hard for an increase in additional resources for An Garda Síochána. The Confidence and Supply Arrangement between Fianna Fáil and Fine Gael commits to increasing Garda recruitment to provide an additional 2,000 Gardaí across the country. We are already starting to see the impact of this demand on the ground as 10 additional Gardaí were assigned to Kildare in December 2016. I’m hopeful that this figure will be built upon in the coming months.

“We’re all well aware of the difficulties that An Garda Síochána has experienced in recent months, but it’s important to remember that a huge amount of good work is being done on the ground day in and day out. I believe the lack of resources assigned to the Gardaí in recent years has hampered their ability to carry out their job. It’s important that Gardaí are given the necessary resources to allow them carry out their role effectively.

“I’ll be asking for an honest assessment from Assistant Commissioner Fanning and Chief Superintended Roche to determine what level of further resources are needed for Kildare so that I can raise the issue with Minister for Justice Francis Fitzgerald.”